7 days with Rabbit R1: 7 things it does terribly — and 7 things it does well from Mashable

[[{“value”:”

It’s been a week since I snatched the Rabbit R1, an AI pocket companion with a conspicuously loud orange chassis. I’m not ready to give a full review just yet, but I want to give you a rundown of my experience so far.

While the Rabbit R1 has its benefits and advantages, it has its quirks and flaws, too.

It’s clear that Jesse Lyu, Rabbit’s CEO, rushed this device to market. I get it, though. If I were in his shoes, I, too, would be jumping out of my skin to show off its LAM (Large Action Model) that makes it a shinier AI assistant than ChatGPT. But as the old saying goes, all that glitters isn’t gold.

Without getting too much into the weeds of things, the LAM allows Rabbit R1 to step in and do stuff on your behalf. For example, it can supposedly — emphasis on supposedly — order DoorDash for you, with nothing but your voice in natural language. Something ChatGPT and its ilk cannot do.

But if the thought of an AI running errands for you, particularly when your money is involved, sent a chill down your spine, your uneasiness may be justified.

Rabbit R1: 7 things it does terribly

When Lyu boasted that the R1 could order DoorDash on users’ behalf, I was skeptical, but excited to try the feature.

Jesse Lyu ordering DoorDash at the Rabbit R1 event.
Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

I’ve tried to order DoorDash with the Rabbit R1 every single day since I received it on April 23, but unfortunately, I haven’t had any success.

1. Ordering DoorDash isn’t the best experience

At first, Rabbit R1 wouldn’t even populate the DoorDash UI, telling me that it’s not available at this time.

“There seems to be an issue with the food,” the Rabbit R1 told me.
Credit: Mashable

However, after removing my DoorDash account from Rabbit Hole (a companion browser site that also lets you connect Uber, Midjourney, and Spotify) and reinstating it again, I got a little further toward submitting my order — but not by much.


Tweet may have been deleted

Even after finally accessing the UI, scrolling through my options, and selecting my choice (e.g., Chipotle), I received an error message. Truth be told, the waiting process was so slow, I could probably order Chipotle faster on my phone.

Among users with a slightly better experience, some have expressed frustration in seeing a limited menu while others reported that the Rabbit R1 paid the courier the highest tip option without asking first.

2. Limited ‘natural language’ processing

The Rabbit R1 needs clearly defined prompts for some tasks to work.


Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

For example, if I were to say, “Record me speaking right now,” the Rabbit R1 will not “understand” that I want it to record me. It will, instead, save a note — something I didn’t ask it to do — and upload it to the Rabbit Hole.

To get Rabbit R1 to begin recording, I’d have to say, “Start a recording session,” specifically.

Here’s another example. If you want to play some games with Rabbit R1, naturally, you’d want to say, “Play a game with me.” Unfortunately, with this prompt, Rabbit assumes that I want it to play a song from the Spotify catalog. Instead, I need to use the words “Let’s play a game” for it to totally comprehend my request.

3. Lack of animations that tell you it’s ‘thinking’

While using the Vision feature (the camera capability that lets it identify and describe things), there were countless times that I experienced a lengthy pause between the Rabbit R1’s responses that I thought it finished its reply — only to be met with more talking about five seconds later.

I tested the Rabbit R1 inside Mashable’s office.
Credit: Mashable

I didn’t realize that Rabbit hadn’t finished speaking because there wasn’t an animation to indicate that I should wait for a complete response. A three-dot bouncing animation would do, for example, to inform me that there’s more to come.

4. Time isn’t its forte

I haven’t been able to set my Rabbit R1 to my local time yet.

I haven’t been able to change it to my local time, but an update is reportedly underway.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

As such, I haven’t been able to set up an alarm with it. Hell, I can’t even set timers with this device. Fortunately, Rabbit said that it’s aware of these issues and a fix is on the way.

5. Inconsistent Spotify performance

The Rabbit R1 has been a bit buggy for me. To paint you a picture, the Rabbit R1 has a cool Spotify UI that shows an album cover and an orange bar trailing around it that displays that the song is progressing.


Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

When I ask it to play a song, and the Rabbit R1 is working properly, the orange bar will trail around the album cover while blaring the tune from the low-tier speakers. However, sometimes, I will see the orange bar progressing — with no audio. This happens to me far too often for it to be just a one-time misfortune.

6. Power efficiency

If I’m only using Rabbit R1 to tap into Perplexity, the LLM that underpins it, for run-of-the-mill questions and basic prompts, I can get one day and some change out of the Rabbit R1.


Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

However, while using the Vision feature and Spotify playback, the Rabbit R1 drains pretty quickly, lasting only several hours. Keep in mind, though, that this is another issue Rabbit says it will fix in an upcoming update.

7. Handwriting-to-digital format

You have to admit that it’s pretty cool that it can snap a picture of my handwritten chart and email me a digitalized version of it.


Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

However, the Rabbit R1 didn’t seem to get this handwriting-to-digital format transcription quite right. Is my handwriting that bad?

Rabbit R1 sent me a .csv of the chart I wrote.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Rabbit R1: 7 things it does well

During my seven days testing the Rabbit R1, there are some things that it does get right, specifically its Vision feature.

1. Suggest recipe ideas based on ingredients it ‘sees’

I’ll admit that it’s pretty cool that I can point the Rabbit R1 at bunch of ingredients and make it tell me what I can cook with what I have on hand.


Tweet may have been deleted

As someone who is trying to ditch their reliance on UberEats and DoorDash (ironically), having Rabbit R1 give me recommendations for recipes based on what it sees in my refrigerator is helpful.

2. Rich visual descriptions

I’ve also been impressed with the rich, detailed descriptions the Rabbit R1 provides, whether it’s describing a person in front of me or a vibrant object.


Tweet may have been deleted

The Rabbit R1 could potentially be useful for someone with low vision.

3. Striking, nostalgic design

This bright orange device will definitely be a conversation starter wherever you take it.


Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

With the bobbing bunny on the screen, it takes Millennials like myself back to the 90s. We were obsessed with pocket toys and digital pets.

4. Spanish and French Translation

I could only test the Rabbit R1’s Spanish-to-English and French-to-English capabilities, and while using it with friends and family with the native tongue, it had no issues translating from one language to another.

The Spanish-to-English translation worked well on stage, too.
Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

However, it’s worth noting that you do need to press and hold the side button whenever someone starts speaking, which can get tiresome. At times, I found myself cutting off the translation by either holding the side button too late or letting go too early.

5. Games (and even DnD)

There are games you can play with the Rabbit R1, including 20 questions, word association, and trivia questions.


Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

None of them are compelling enough to be addicting, but they give you a little something to do to pass the time. I’ve even seen some colleagues claim they’ve played Dungeons and Dragons with Rabbit R1, too, which I believe since the AI was pretty good at co-creating a fantastical fairytale with me one night.

That being said, the Rabbit R1 might make a decent gift for kids between the age of five and eight.

6. Summarizing web pages

Another Vision feature that deserves some praise is the fact that the Rabbit R1 can “see” a webpage and summarize it in a snap.

I used it to summarize by Rabbit R1 hands-on impressions.
Credit: Mashable

This can be helpful for those moments when you don’t feel like reading lengthy articles — and you just want “CliffNotes.”

7. Note taking and voice recording

Although you need to use specific verbiage to prompt Rabbit R1 to take notes and start a voice recording, I haven’t had any issues with them.


Credit: Mashable

With the former feature, I can ask Rabbit R1 to save notes for me, allowing me to access them in the Rabbit Hole. This is useful if you don’t want to forget something — this bright-orange device will quickly immortalize your thoughts.

You can record audio, too, which Rabbit R1 can summarize. These clips are also accessible via the Rabbit Hole.

Final thoughts

Before I give a proper review on the Rabbit R1, I want to see if the next big update, set to reportedly fix battery life drain and the local time issue, will adjust my current perception of it. So far, this device is equally as frustrating as it is intriguing — and there are just as many cons as there are pros.

In the meantime, I’ve had the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses on my mind, another wearable that claims to push the envelope with AI. Once I get the Rabbit R1 review out of the way, I think it’s time for a face-off between the orange box and Meta’s spectacles.

Credit: Joe Maldonado / Mashable

The post 7 days with Rabbit R1: 7 things it does terribly — and 7 things it does well from Mashable appeared first on Tom Bettenhausen’s.

“}]]    ​Article Continues..