More tea? I'll be back!

Once upon a time people used diaries - little books of paper with dates on - to ensure they knew what they were going to do at any given time. A couple of decades ago they were partially made redundant by the more comprehensive FiloFax and then completely trashed by the invention of PDAs (personal digital assistants), handheld computers and latterly by the smartphone. A similar technological path is true of the secretary, that multi-functional lynch pin of offices of old. Obviated by computer and, again, then by tablet and smartphone.

So what next? With so much technology at the engineer’s fingertips – so many sensor technologies that can be used to interface with objects - what is the next generation of personal assistant going to look like? Should it be mobile or static, the size of a phone or a TV, how will it be powered…so many considerations.And what will it be used for – will it be an information source, a personal organiser, or (and a collective shudder went round the Eureka editorial team at the thought) a personal friend with a personality customised to the user.

The imagination can run wild here, but we are clearly looking to rummage around with some fancy electronics, sensing technologies and certainly a bit of Internet of Things thrown in.

We have, as always, a solution in mind which will be revealed next month. But if you have any ideas please send them to the editor at or leave your solutions in the comments section below.

The solution we had in mind was Moorebot an animated robot for homes, businesses and office use. It combines robotic technology and cloud intelligence with a unique ‘one eyed’ camera design that can abstractly mimic human eye expressions. Like a living thing, it responds to its environment and even learns to respond to various spoken commands and instructions. Underlying the overall simplicity of the look is a sophisticated mechanical design with four high precision motors that control the movement of Moorebot’s head, eye lid and eyeball, enabling a wide range of fun and dynamic movement options. It dances, it sings, it can be happy, it can be sad. According to inventor Pilot Labs, it is not just a personal assistant, it is an entertainer as well. For more information go to