Less technically speaking, it’s a cutting-edge personal assistant robot, labeled by the media as the equivalent of Amazon’s Alexa on wheels.
About three years ago an Israeli company, Roboteam, a leading global provider of tactical ground robotic systems, approached Netguru with a project. They wanted to design and build a premium and affordable device which would secure them the pole position on the home robotics market. And although Roboteam is a company with robotics deep-rooted in its DNA, and Netguru had delivered plenty of solutions for many partners in different technologies, this challenge was utterly new to both parties.
Building a robot is a demanding journey, especially if it is a domestic one. Everything must happen in real time, and you need plenty of hardware specialists, tonnes of advanced sensors, and a CPU strong enough to handle its performance. The
The software part of the
There is also the physical design of the device, which must fit elegantly into an apartment, not look like a toy, and convey a balance between being a device and having some physical presence among home dwellers. The
On top of that comes software which must unlock the potential of both hardware and design to the end user, and has to be perceived as friendly and practical.
To tackle the challenge of building a personal assistant robot from scratch, a lot of effort was put into research and testing. Then we held a scoping session for the framework of the launcher for temi. The goal was to find the best use-cases of architectures and technologies for the project. As soon as we split the responsibilities between the teams, we started work on three platforms: the robot’s operating system (Android-based), an iOS app, and an Android app.
We also had to handle voice recognition, video loads, and fast data processing in the cloud. We did this in the following steps:
Netguru team focused on R&D and iterative cycles to come up with the best possible technology for any given task;
We included temi in our agile culture and processes. Bi-weekly sprints, quality assurance, code review, retrospectives and planning, backlog grooming, and daily standups were applied to the project;
In order to collaborate seamlessly as if we were an integral part of the temi team, we suggested common work grounds: Jira, Slack, and Bitrise.
Not only did we support the temi team with our software skills (Android and iOS), but we also introduced the global robotics company to our agile culture, principles, and processes. In hindsight, this turned out to be the best workflow for this project.
The personal assistant robot, temi, has received fantastic feedback from testers, industry experts, and media outlets. temi also gathered a round of applause at industry events in the US and Europe. Major milestones achieved together with temi’s developers include:
The Netguru team developed the robot’s operating system (Android-based);
We also developed an iOS app and an Android app for controlling the robot;
An open Android SDK (temi SDK platform) was built, which allows third-party developers to write custom apps for temi;
The Netguru team started to develop a set of apps for