Anyone can control these live, streaming bots through a chat room

Users can control the robots' direction and LED lights

IDG

IDG

Have you ever had a friend or a family member go on an exotic vacation only to find yourself living vicariously through their social media posts? Well, now you can also live vicariously through a robot.

Bay area start-up Let's Robot allows users to control its robotic fleet through a chat room. Users type commands into the chat room to move the robots in a certain direction or to play around with their LED lights. You can think of it as a collaborative, interactive avatar.

"When I started, I wanted to make the world's first live, interactive show" featuring robots, says Jillian Ogle, founder and CEO of Let's Robot. She soon found that the technical infrastructure to create such a show didn't exist, so, along with the help of a few engineers, she set out to make her own.

"I started by making dungeons and labyrinths in my living room."

Let's Robot now has 10,000 active users who log in each week to tag along with the robots as they explore different environments or attempt to complete missions. Past streams have included treasure hunts and robots making party invitations. According to the company's Twitch page, live streams take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. PST. A list of upcoming events includes making Jill a sandwich and painting with

A list of upcoming events includes making Ogle a sandwich and painting with Bob Ross.

Let's Robot operates using an open API, so anyone can make their own robot and integrate it with the platform. However, Ogle says the company also hopes to develop a consumer version to sell to individuals who may not be robotics savvy.

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Magdalena Petrova

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