The company's Chief Executive Brian Krzanich was
accompanied by "Jimmy" on stage at the Code Conference in Rancho
Palos Verdes, California. The white 2-foot tall robot shuffled
onto the stage, introduced itself and then waved its arms.
Intel describes Jimmy as a research robot, but the company
intends to make 3D-printable plans available without charge for
a slightly less advanced version, and partners will sell
components that cannot be 3D-printed, such as motors and an
Intel Edison processor, in kits.
Jimmy can be programmed to sing, translate languages, send
tweets and even serve a cold beer.
Under Krzanich, who took over a year ago, the chipmaker is
trying to be an early player in emerging technologies like smart
clothing, after coming late to the mobile revolution and making
little progress in smartphones and tablets.
Its strategy includes engaging tech-savvy do-it-yourselfers and
weekend hobbyists working on everything from Internet-connected
baby blankets to robots and drones.
Owners of the robots will be able to program them to perform
unique tasks. They can then share the programs with other owners
as downloadable apps.
Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, hopes the price for the
robot kits will fall below $1,000 within five years.
Separately on Wednesday, entrepreneur Bill Gross announced plans
for a 3D printer that would sell for $149, far less than devices
that now typically sell for $1,000 or more.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich and Alexei Oreskovic)
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