Labrador Systems Inc introduces the Labrador Retriever, a new type of personal robot that empowers individuals to live more independently by providing practical, physical assistance with everyday activities in the home.

The robot functions as an extra pair of hands, helping individuals move large loads from place to place as well as bring critical items within reach. It is designed to lighten the load for people with chronic pain, injury or other health issues that impact their daily activities. 

Labrador unveiled the Retriever at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The company also released a video on its website that features testimonials from individuals who participated in Labrador’s in-home product trials. Labrador plans to have the Retriever in full production by the second half of 2023, with beta units available earlier. To coincide with the debut of the robot, Labrador has opened early reservations for the Retriever with special pricing on its website.

Designed for Use in the Home

The Labrador Retriever pairs the size and capability of an advanced commercial robot with simplicity of use and appealing design for the home. The robot is large enough to carry a laundry basket and can handle payloads of up to 25 pounds yet can still navigate the tight spaces of a home. It can park itself within inches of an armchair and automatically change its height to bring items easily within reach based on the user’s position. The Retriever includes places for charging a smart phone along with a large storage area to keep other frequently needed items accessible, such as water, medication and personal items.

To support even more use cases and users, the Labrador Retriever also features a retrieval system that is capable of retrieving and delivering trays each carrying up to 10 pounds of items. Trays can be stored on shelves, countertops or other surfaces in the home as well as in a beverage-size refrigerator that Labrador plans to offer, enabling the Retriever to deliver meals, fresh fruit and cold drinks.

“There’s a significant portion of our society that’s massively underserved. When pain or other health issues start interfering with your ability to move yourself or other things, even short distances can have a major impact on your independence, quality of life and overall health. The Retriever is meant to help physically bridge some of that gap and empower individuals to be more active and do more on their own.” 

— Labrador Systems CEO Mike Dooley

Moving Objects with the Voice

Users can command the Retriever through a variety of easy-to-use interfaces, including by touch screen, a mobile app for the phone, voice (such as via an Alexa-enabled device), or by simply pressing a wireless button. The Retriever can also operate on a pre-set schedule to provide “physical reminders” by automatically delivering items at a specific time and location.

Labrador Systems is supported by the Alexa Fund, which invests venture capital into startups advancing the state-of-the-art of ambient computing technology.

“Amazon is proud to support Labrador Systems and the important work they are doing to help empower more people to live independently. We strive to make our technologies accessible and empowering, and we often hear from customers how Alexa helps them get more done and stay connected with friends and family. We’re excited to be working with Labrador Systems to see the impact Alexa and the Labrador Retriever can have to make our customers’ lives a little easier.”

— Paul Bernard, director of the Amazon Alexa Fund

Self-Driving System

The Labrador Retriever is self-driving and guides itself through homes using a proprietary navigation system that fuses algorithms from Augmented Reality with robotics to create 3D maps of the home.

This technology, which is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, enables the Retriever to operate in complex and dynamic settings while running on low-cost consumer-grade electronics. Rounding out the system is a dual-layer of sensors for obstacle detection and avoidance.

Labrador plans to offer a base model of the robot, called the Labrador Caddie, to provide different pricing and features based on the user’s needs. The company is also working with care providers in senior living, physical therapy and home health to explore ways the Retriever can support their mission.

Organizations interested in learning more about the Retriever and applications in their field can learn more by visiting Labrador’s website.

“I am excited to see Labrador Systems addressing the growing global need to enable seniors and other individuals to live independently longer. iRobot firmly believes that robotic technologies will play a key role in addressing this issue, and the Labrador Systems Retriever robot represents exciting progress on this front.”

— Anders Bialek, vice president of strategy and corporate development at iRobot

[Source(s): Labrador Systems, PR Newswire]