There’s a new robot on Kickstarter that’s supposed to help you obtain good posture at your standing desk. It’s an Alexa-enabled gadget named Giiro, which uses the accompanying Giiromat, a mat you place on the floor in front of your desk, to sense if you’re standing up straight and distributing your weight evenly.
Giiro is made by the South Korean IoT company Gaze Lab in collaboration with a startup called Morethings that makes sensor-based products like smart insoles and smart golf mats. Gaze Lab previously launched its standing Gaze Desk on Kickstarter in 2016 and successfully raised enough to launch it. The Gaze Desk could also watch your posture through sensors, but the Giiro robot takes things a step further by giving you a funny look and imitating you when your stance is off.
The basic Giiro robot resembles a Minion from the Despicable Me franchise, except it’s rendered in black and white and constantly looks upset, even when you have decent posture. When you have bad posture, its single eye turns into an X mark, as if it can’t bear the sight. When you’ve twisted one leg behind your other leg, the Giiro robot gives you side-eye until you fix it. There’s a total of nine different expressions and Giiro will also lean in the same direction and angle as you or even cross its leg if it notices you doing so.
You can get Giiro in a yellow version, too, which fully cements the Minion resemblance, and other colors may come out eventually. There’s also a Giiro app that will monitor your posture and give you feedback, like what points on your feet are pressing down the hardest on the mat. Since Giiro is Alexa- and Bluetooth-enabled, you can pair it to smart home devices and play music on it.
The Giiro robot will start to ship in December, with most models shipping out in March 2019. The Kickstarter has to reach $20,000 by August; as of press time, it’s still below $2,000. Like other Kickstarters, be cautious if you’re thinking about backing the product, as crowdfunded gadgets may never ship; though Gaze has successfully shipped a Kickstarter project in the past.