Baidu’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology just saw progress in smart home commercialisation.

Baidu and Ainemo, a Beijing-based consumer electronic startup, on Friday jointly launched a “home robot” named “Fenshenyu”. The “robot” is powered by Baidu’s AI assistant platform DuerOS. Although it is announced as a robot, the gadget is more like an iPad with accessories. It cannot move freely and has an independent camera.

“DuerOS is an important platform for Baidu in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), as an innovative integration of AI and smart home hardware enabling objects to communicate and interact with human beings,” said Qi Lu, Baidu’s Group President and COO at the GMIC 2017.

Qi Lu
Qi Lu speaking at the launch event. Photo from Baidu.

So far, DuerOS has over 70 native capabilities including voice activation, voice broadcasting, and video chat. It has partnered with domestic and international electronic companies such as Midea, Haier, and Harman.

The new robot is an AI-powered, voice-controlled family robot with video chat and streaming capabilities developed by these two companies. The new gadget, priced at RMB 3,299 (USD 478), supports remote controls via mobile phone and is able to conduct video chats within ten meters.

The Fenshenyu robot. Photo from Baidu
The Fenshenyu robots. Photo from Baidu

Baidu aims to build an operating system in the AI era, and focuses on applications for the operating system in a number of areas including family life, which is also a sector where Baidu hopes to see its AI technology achieve commercialisation. In February, Baidu acquired a digital assistant startup Raven Tech, which has launched a Siri-like app.

(Top photo from Baidu)

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Heather Wang
Heather is a contributor at ACT. She is passionate about literature, photography and technology. She graduated from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics with a Master's Degree.

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