Robot Assistant with Abhishek Singh

We view our iPhones as inanimate objects. But when we see robots such as the Boston Dynamics machines that move with a motion that seems like an animal, the robot comes alive. We feel more sympathy and connection towards it.

Today’s episode is about the distinction between inanimate machines and machines that seem alive.

Peeqo is a robot assistant similar to Amazon Echo or Google Home. It was built by Abhishek Singh as part of his thesis. Abhishek wanted to explore the border between inanimate electronics and the electronics we personify. Peeqo is a cylindrical tube that bends slightly, like the human neck. At its head, it has a smartphone-sized screen that displays gifs to reflect its feedback visually.

Abhishek also has a company called Svrround, which makes 360 degree video experiences. We explore the changes to engineering that allow someone to be involved in two cutting-edge projects at once despite having very few employees working with him.

This was an energizing conversation, and I greatly enjoyed meeting Abhishek. I hope to have him on again in the future.

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Transcript

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