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FAQ

Browse the most common questions we are asked about the Furhat platform

Introducing Social Robots and Furhat

  • Social robots are a new type of physical computer interface designed to be used in social contexts, to interact with people. The goal is for them to interact with us humans as we do with each other, by listening, speaking, and expressing some degree of emotion. Verbal communication and social interaction are skills we have evolved over thousands of years and as they come so naturally to us, there is little to no learning curve. By communicating with us the way we do with each other, social robots have the ability to connect with us in deeper and more meaningful ways, potentially removing the barriers between humanity and technology.

  • This is a question that is fundamentally about User Experience. A physically-embodied robot provides a more immersive experience than a chatbot or a smart speaker. Furhat has the capability to look the user in the eyes, share a smile, and create a sense of shared experience and connection that is difficult to replicate over video or voice-only interaction. The core foundation of a social robot is that it is social – in other words, it allows the user to engage socially and emotionally with it, as if they were talking to a human in front of them.

    Our blog post “Why do we even need robots? Aren’t chatbots and avatars enough?” explains this in more detail – analysing the roles that co-presence and proximity play in the effectiveness of social robots.

  • The robot currently speaks around 40 of the world’s most common languages. In most languages, there are both male & female voices, as well as varying dialects. We collaborate with third party voice providers, so we are always building on our library of available voices.

    You can view the latest library of available voices in our Technical Product Overview.

  • Yes, we have a virtual Furhat. This is only for development use, not commercial deployment. You can find out more about the Furhat Software Development Kit and the virtual Furhat here.

  • Yes, we have existing customers who are already giving a physical embodiment to their virtual chatbot.

  • Yes, it is entirely possible to integrate Furhat with backend systems. This allows the robot to book reservations or meetings, access information about a particular customer or automatically update digital records, as just a couple of examples.

  • The Furhat robot comes with a user-friendly Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK includes the custom made dialogue framework that is written in a modern Java-dialect called Kotlin. The dialogue framework is well documented on docs.furhat.io with an extensive intro to social robots and plenty of examples to start from. The dialogue framework is based on hierarchical statecharts with an intuitive and easy to use custom Natural Language Understanding engine. Anyone with a bit of general programming experience and experience in creating conversational applications should find the SDK easy to use. Read more about the necessary competences to build Furhat skills.

  • The Furhat Robot does not automatically log any user data. All data logging is managed and performed by the developer. All video data is processed on-board the robot and does not allow any data to be used by third-party suppliers supporting its features. Read the Furhat Platform Data Security & Privacy document to find out more.

  • No, you can run Furhat in a limited mode without network connectivity for presentations or demos for example. However, you will not be able to run an interaction that requires the robot to understand what people say – as the robot uses cloud services for speech recognition.

  • The Furhat Software Development Kit (SDK) supports development on Windows, MacOS or Linux. The SDK only requires a reasonably capable developer class workstation. As a guideline, a system with an i7 class CPU, a minimum of 8GB free RAM, and a minimum of 150GB of free disk space is recommended.

Using the Furhat Robot

  • Absolutely. One of the main features of the Furhat robot is its extreme customizability. You can create your own physical mask, animated face and TTS (text-to-speech) voice. The robot is shipped with pre-loaded animations and voices in the world’s 40 most common languages, so you have a wide variety of personas to choose from to begin with. You can also add external accessories such as a wig, scarf or hat to even further connect with your brand. For some inspiration, check out how Bandai Namco and Deutsche Bahn customized their Furhat robots to match their brand identity.

  • Yes, you can! This is quite common to do, particularly when deploying Furhat in a public space. We have made sure that external devices are compatible with the robot, to ensure you can for example use larger speakers if necessary in noisy environments, or perhaps link a touchscreen to offer a secondary interface.

    For extra reading, visit our “Should social robots have touch screens?” blog post.

  • We offer basic technical onboarding training for all new customers. Our Developer Documentation Site and YouTube channel also includes extensive guides and tutorials which are freely available at all times. Custom training packages or consulting services throughout a project are available for a fee, depending on your needs.

  • The robot is shipped with several demo applications, which provide inspiration for your own application development and allow you to interact with the robot out of the box. There are also tutorials and example applications available on our GitHub profile.

    If you require domain expertise, we work alongside the world’s top development agencies who can support you in developing your application.

  • – Speech recognition for 124 languages (including regional variants)

    – Speech synthesis with 197 different voices in 31 languages

    – 4 masks (adult, child, anime, dog) with 22 adult faces

    – 20 facial gestures (from 52 parameters)

    – Web interface to monitor and manage wizard-of-Oz interactions

    – A short list of common intents and entities for English, Spanish, Mandarin, German and Swedish.

    – Tutorial and examples skills

    – Example skill flows for the visual prototyping tool Blockly

  • All our clients are welcome to contact us through our Support portal, and we also have an open community with global Furhat users where you can ask other developers for advice.

    As a leasing client, you automatically have access to our premium support package with faster response and resolution time, live technical remote support, tips and advice to improve your application.

    If you have purchased the robot, there are additional support packages available on an annual basis for an additional fee.

    Contact us for a quote and more details regarding support packages.

  • As a Furhat customer, you will be eligible for frequent software updates, roughly every month. These are free and available in our Developer Documentation site, and we recommend every robot owner to keep a look out for these and ensure that their robot is updated with the latest software version to take part of all the new features that are continuously developed.

    The hardware does not require much maintenance, however you can read tips about caring for your robot in our Robot Owners Guide (page 36), covering environmental, handling, cleaning and transportation of the robot.

    In case of any issues or damages with the robot hardware, we offer warranty and support packages to cover all eventualities.

  • This feature is not currently available. We believe that there are better technologies out there that specialize in this space. Our main focus is on interactions in environments with the need for a physical embodiment.

  • Yes, this is possible via a number of ways. Given the current requirement for virtual meetings, we are offering frequent online live demo sessions, hosted by our Furhateers. This is the nearest thing to meeting Furhat in real-life. The 45-minute session provides you with the opportunity to see Furhat in action, view a brief demonstration and ask questions to a member of our team. You can book a demo here.

    Once it becomes safe, we will be attending events again. Keep an eye on our social media channels to see where we will be in the world, and reach out to drop by for a demo.

    You can also contact our resellers for a meeting if this makes sense, depending on your location. You can view our list of global partners here.

  • For technical information, see our Developer Documentation site. For any other questions, contact sales@furhatrobotics.com.

  • Yes, you can hire a robot specifically for an event. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now also available to provide virtual demos and presentations for events.

    Please submit a contact form, and we will be in touch with you soon.

Sales & Support

  • This depends on your purpose and vision with using our robot. For experimental and research purposes (e.g. universities and innovation labs) we sell the robot, whereas robots that are to be used for commercial purposes are leased on a monthly basis which includes a strong package of support, maintenance and full warranty. You can contact us here for more clarification on costs and available packages.

  • The length and complexity of an implementation project will differ based on the scope of use case, number of robots, team size etc., but it is common for most projects follow the path of the below stages:

    – Acquire a Furhat robot.

    – Develop a new tailored application for approx. 2-5 months.

    – Deploy and test the pilot application in a live environment for approx. 1-2 months.

    – Improve and iterate based on feedback for approx. 2-3 months.

    – Deploy a permanent installation in a live environment.

    We recommend that you have an in-house development team to create your application(s), however we do work alongside the world’s top development agencies who can support you.

    Experience in developing conversational applications is recommended, but not required.

    Depending on your idea and use case, continuous improvements based on feedback and user input can be continued throughout the application lifecycle.

  • We offer basic technical onboarding training for all new customers. Our Developer Documentation Site and YouTube channel also includes extensive guides and tutorials which are freely available at all times. Custom training packages or consulting services throughout a project are available for a fee, depending on your needs.

  • The robot is shipped with several demo applications, which provide inspiration for your own application development and allow you to interact with the robot out of the box. There are also tutorials and example applications available on our GitHub profile.

    If you require domain expertise, we work alongside the world’s top development agencies who can support you in developing your application.

  • – Speech recognition for 124 languages (including regional variants)

    – Speech synthesis with 197 different voices in 31 languages

    – 4 masks (adult, child, anime, dog) with 22 adult faces

    – 20 facial gestures (from 52 parameters)

    – Web interface to monitor and manage wizard-of-Oz interactions

    – A short list of common intents and entities for English, Spanish, Mandarin, German and Swedish.

    – Tutorial and examples skills

    – Example skill flows for the visual prototyping tool Blockly

  • All our clients are welcome to contact us through our Support portal, and we also have an open community with global Furhat users where you can ask other developers for advice.

    As a leasing client, you automatically have access to our premium support package with faster response and resolution time, live technical remote support, tips and advice to improve your application.

    If you have purchased the robot, there are additional support packages available on an annual basis for an additional fee.

    Contact us for a quote and more details regarding support packages.

  • As a Furhat customer, you will be eligible for frequent software updates, roughly every month. These are free and available in our Developer Documentation site, and we recommend every robot owner to keep a look out for these and ensure that their robot is updated with the latest software version to take part of all the new features that are continuously developed.

    The hardware does not require much maintenance, however you can read tips about caring for your robot in our Robot Owners Guide (page 36), covering environmental, handling, cleaning and transportation of the robot.

    In case of any issues or damages with the robot hardware, we offer warranty and support packages to cover all eventualities.

  • This feature is not currently available. We believe that there are better technologies out there that specialize in this space. Our main focus is on interactions in environments with the need for a physical embodiment.

  • Yes, this is possible via a number of ways. Given the current requirement for virtual meetings, we are offering frequent online live demo sessions, hosted by our Furhateers. This is the nearest thing to meeting Furhat in real-life. The 45-minute session provides you with the opportunity to see Furhat in action, view a brief demonstration and ask questions to a member of our team. You can book a demo here.

    Once it becomes safe, we will be attending events again. Keep an eye on our social media channels to see where we will be in the world, and reach out to drop by for a demo.

    You can also contact our resellers for a meeting if this makes sense, depending on your location. You can view our list of global partners here.

  • For technical information, see our Developer Documentation site. For any other questions, contact sales@furhatrobotics.com.

  • Yes, you can hire a robot specifically for an event. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now also available to provide virtual demos and presentations for events.

    Please submit a contact form, and we will be in touch with you soon.

Downloads

Our documents prepare you for your very own Furhat

Product sheet

Technical Product Overview

A guide to your first Furhat

Robot Owners Guide

Furhat Platform Data Security And Privacy

Furhat Conversational Platform White Paper

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Further reading

See our latest posts and learn more about the Furhat platform

”Whenever we encounter issues with the Furhat platform, their easy-to-use Service Desk is our go-to place! We get fast replies, always with a good, positive and helpful approach, where we either get a solution or follow-up questions that help us reflect on the challenge. We at Tengai feel that we can always count on our friends at Furhat!”
Sinisa Strbac Chief Product Officer at Tengai

Get in touch

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