Baidu’s Little Fish Home Robot Can Emulate Amazon Echo

7 Jan
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By Mudit Mohilay, The Tech Portal

Google and Amazon are really the only two major players we know of in the Personal, home assistant space. While Amazon has its Echo, Dot and Tap devices, Google entered the field relatively recently with its Google Home. Well, the arena now has a Chinese player as well. Chinese giant Baidu, is building the Xiaoyu Zaijia (“Little Fish”) family robot in partnership with AiNemo.

The Xiaoyu Zaijia home assistant is almost as capable as Alexa powered devices. In fact, considering the fact that it also has a camera and a large display, it might even be more capable in certain respects. The robot can be woken up with the “xiaoyu xiaoyu” wake word and actually turns its head to look at the speaker. (Take that Alexa!)

Baidu appears to be aiming the gadget solely at the Chinese market, as it responds only to comments made in the language. However, from what we have been able to gather, the device is quite capable. Apart from all the usual tricks an assistant like Alexa would be capable of (News, Weather and so on) the device is also able to recognize who is using it at any given instant of time.

So, unless it recognizes you as one of the people authorized to place orders, book cabs and so on — it won;t perform any of the restricted actions. This should be particularly useful in ensuring that kids are unable to misuse the service. What’s more, it is also able to responds to comments that require it to display something on a screen. So for instance, if you ask it to show you the Eiffel Tower or a one horned rhino — it will be able to do so.

You can also call the robot from your mobile phone and move its camera around to take a look at your house.

Meanwhile, the device is powered by Baidu’s DuerOS and will require you to shell out $300 — which is quite a bit pricier than Amazon and Google’s offerings. Considering that Amazon and Google have kept their products mostly limited to the US, Baidu has a open field of play before it. Meanwhile, the company’s product is limited to China for now, but well, we can always hope.