Menteebot is a human-sized AI robot that you command with natural language

The whole world is ragging on a barely functional $700 AI pin at the moment, but what if similar tech was squeezed into a gigantic robot that lives in your home? That’s a worst case scenario for the recently-introduced Menteebot, a human-sized robot that’s stuffed to the brim with AI-adjacent bells and whistles.

It’s being advertised as the “personalized AI-based robot you can mentor.” It can run, walk sideways and even turn, all “with the same balance and control as a human.” Manufacturer Mentee Robotics also says it’ll adjust its gait when lifting heavy objects. It should be able to lift these heavy objects with ease due to the fact that it’s, well, absolutely gigantic. Many of the models also have no head, which certainly doesn’t recall any old-time myths about a scary demon on a horse.

Now, we’ve had humanoid robots for a while. There was Honda’s Asimo, which has been sadly discontinued, and the army of nightmare creatures that Boston Dynamics is busy cooking up. Agility Robotics has been building out its robot assistant Digit and Elon Musk, who never makes false promises ever swear to God, says that Tesla is working on a humanoid robot called Optimus.

There’s one major difference between the aforementioned bots and Mentee’s creation. Menteebot is stuffed with AI algorithms, natural language processing models and software that unlocks “advanced training techniques.” The company says that this means the robot is “not bound to a limited set of commands” and that it can even hold conversations with humans. As a matter of fact, users issue commands to the robot via natural language. 

It’s a robot with two arms and two legs that can, in theory, do many of the same things we do. The company says that we can train it to do these things. This seems to sort of work like another controversial piece of AI tech, the Rabbit R1. To teach Menteebot a new task, you run a simulated version of the bot through a digital version of the task. The software completes the task over and over until it figures it out. Then the robot should be able to complete the task in the real world. This seems like an extremely lofty promise, but we’ll wait to see the final result. Here’s hoping it doesn’t hallucinate and do whatever the heck it wants like other bits of AI tech. 

Menteebot does look quite agile. There are tons of videos of the robot being put through its paces. It can run and the arms and hands “present a full range of motion and enough accuracy to perform delicate tasks.” To that end, there’s a video of it gently handing a piece of dinnerware to a person.

While it’s highly unlikely this robot will live up to the initial promotional materials when it arrives in 2025 (just look at the initial promises Humane made for the AI pin), it still seems pretty darned cool. There’s no announced price, but it’s certainly going to be a whole lot more than the aforementioned $700 pin. This is an agile humanoid robot that weighs over 150 pounds. 

Menteebot will be available in two flavors. There’s the residential bot, which is forced to do household chores, and the commercial bot, which is forced to do manual labor. No matter which you choose, for heaven’s sake, be extra nice to the thing. Don’t boss it around. Let it sit at the dinner table. Keep it away from the vast majority of sci-fi. It can watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, maybe, as Data seems like a decent enough role model.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at
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