This article details the release of Japanese company Fujitsu’s robot RoboPin. It also highlights Fujitsu’s partnership with FamilyMart.
You might remember the Disney movie Wall-E for its timeless animation. There’s also a controlling ship AI similar to the HAL 9000, but the robot “Eve” helps Wall-E save the humans and repopulate Earth in the end.
Fujitsu, a Japanese technology company, held a demo at a Tokyo exhibition this week. There, they debuted a robot that looked very similar to Wall-E’s Eve.
But what can this robot do and what does Fujitsu have planned for it?
— James Hetherington (@james_heth) May 15, 2018
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Fujitsu showed off RoboPin prototypes as early as 2016. They want this robot to help humans with a more emotive interface.
Previously, human-robot interaction felt “cold” to Fujitsu, so they designed RoboPin. It can use 222 different movements to express itself, as well as speak to you. It can provide directions, help those who don’t speak the native language, and even offer shop coupons.
RoboPin features a camera in the center of its face and glowing tips on its arms.
If you rent or own one of these units, you can use AR controls to manipulate the robot.
Still not Ready for Primetime Play
Fujitsu said that RoboPin is still in early stage development and needs to be tested. There is currently no announced timeline for release.
But Fujitsu partnered with FamilyMart in April of this year for a trial run. They will most likely start their testing in Taiwan and RoboPin will show off on-sale products. It will also perform the “Famimai” — a dance choreographed just for FamilyMart.
Honda also announced its own line of consumer-based interactive robots. Fujitsu might see competition from them and other companies moving forward.