We're at the second night of gadget unveils, and this one is chock full of mechanical butlers aspiring to turn your life into a episode of The Jetsons. Budgee is a $1400 unit from Five Elements Robotics designed to carry up to 50 pounds of luggage. You clip a small transponder onto your belt and Budgee follows the radio frequency it emits. In theory he should follow you around, maintaining a respectful 1.5 foot distance.
The company's website declares: "Budgee™ is Glamourous! Look like a movie star with your own personal robot! Budgee™ is Helpful! He carries your things so you don’t have to. Budgee™ is Cool! Budgee™ is sleek and sophisticated."
"Look like a movie star with your own personal robot!"
In reality Budgee looks budget and, in our hands on, did not manage to follow us well at all. He would sometimes respond to my walking by moving back and forth, but just as often he would stop moving, charge at me randomly, or wander off and stop working entirely.
It would be awesome if there was a sleek robot that carried your luggage and followed you easily through an airport. Based on our testing tonight, Budgee is not the droid you are looking for. If you want to enjoy amazing stock photos with robots on the other hand...