More than useful — Miroki, a new humanoid robot is born

Dave Snowdon
6 min readNov 30, 2022

When you think about humanoid robots, what countries do you think of? You might think of Japan, well known as a powerhouse of robotics, the likes of Asimo and Aibo. Maybe you think of American companies like Boston Dynamics with Atlas. You might not think of France. Yet if you consider the numbers of humanoid robots worldwide it is almost certainly French robots that are in the majority. There are thousands of Nao & Pepper robots out there. Designed and built by Aldebaran, which became Softbank Robotics Europe and which is now Aldebaran again. Now, I’m in Paris again and Jérôme Monceaux, the mind behind Nao & Pepper, has a new company, Enchanted Tools, with a new robot that he’s ready to show to the world.

Miroki & Jérôme — photo by Ghene Snowdon,

Ghene & I almost didn’t make it. We’d planned a leisurely arrival in Paris, a chance to freshen up and change into smarter clothes more worthy of an event in France and then a gentle stroll to the venue on Quai de Valmy. Instead we got 3 hours of delay in London in a crowded departure lounge due to an issue with the overhead power lines and then a frantic dash from Gare du Nord in t-shirts that were only just presentable. Luckily we weren’t too late and we arrived in time for the start of the event.

First, Richard Malterre took the stage to welcome the 100 or so attendees and then introduce, Jérôme Monceaux, the CEO of Enchanted Tools. Jérôme, made an allusion to the long history of humanoid robots in France, pointed to the company logo on the projected screen behind him and with a tap of the screen we were off on an animated adventure. We meet the Mirokai a benevolent alien race living far across the Universe who have been watching over the human race for centuries. Now one of them approaches a portal and is transported somewhere…

Jérôme introduces the Mirokai — photo by Ghene Snowdon,

Jérôme returns to the stage and explains that we need a body for the Mirokai to inhabit not one of flesh & bone, but metal and plastic that their “enchanters” have created. Jérôme beckons to a curtained off area in front of the stage. There is a perceptible hush as the audience waits to see what might emerge. At first we can see only the top, a slightly feline face projected on a…

Dave Snowdon

I’m a software engineer. I write about creating software, social robotics and AI