Keller Rinaudo - Faces of Innovation
Latest News Innovators Videos

Keller Rinaudo


Romotive (@Romotive) is a self-described ?team of nerds? based in San Francisco that developed a lovable companion named Romo who uses your smartphone as his brain and zooms around on 4?x3? wheeled base.

For someone who lives inside a smartphone, Romo can do a lot. Romo?s face-tracking ability enables users to feel like they have a friend who actually pays attention to them. He can be set as a mobile alarm clock that will run away from you whenever you try and turn him off. He is capable of telepresence, and can be controlled from a computer or smartphone over from anywhere in the world. A parent or friend can log onto a Romo and control Romo from a distant location with a two-way video and audio feed. Finally, Romo?s visual programming interface allows kids with no programming background to make cool behaviors and actions for Romo (for example, when I tickle Romo?s chin he will drive forward, turn right, tilt up 135 degrees, and act dizzy). With Romotive?s open SDK, users can write their own apps and customize their friend to do pretty much anything they can dream up.

While robots have been part of American popular culture for a long time, they?ve long been inaccessible to the average person. Romo takes advantage of high-speed broadband and the ubiquity of smartphones to create a robot that anyone can actually use. And since users are able to develop their own apps for Romo, there is seemingly nothing he won?t be able to do.