March 22, 2006
WowWee and Evolution Robotics

This is cool: WowWee and Evolution Robotics have announced that WowWee will use Evo's object recognition (ViPR) and infrared-based localization (NorthStar) technologies in future products.

WowWee seems to be the most exciting thing in innovative but affordable robot toys (and other devices), and I can't wait to see what they do with Evo's nearly magical tech.

I can't find any mention of this deal on either Evolution's or WowWee's website. And why doesn't Evo have an RSS feed for news?

Speaking of things Evo should do... I wish they could figure out a way to offer a free version of the object recognition SDK.

They have a free Windows-based objrec demo app which is pretty neat, but you have to basically email a human and ask for a password before you can download it. That's too much of a barrier for me—they should be making sure that thing gets in front of as many people as possible. And then, if you want to play with your own object recognition application, you should be able to download a free version of the SDK without having to provide more than a working email address. It should work on Linux, and it should come with (at least) Python bindings.

I'm sure they can find a way to restrict the free SDK's suitability for commercial use, perhaps by limiting the number of objects that can be recognized (to say, 10) or restricting the resolution of the input images, or making it intentionally inefficient (if you want to process more than one image per second, you have to pay).

Update: A few hours later Evo posted a press release.

Posted by jjwiseman at March 22, 2006 11:52 AM
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