Electronics company Sharp has developed a vacuum cleaner that not only cleans, but also has the ability to communicate with people, respond to voice commands and greetings, and has feelings—like a pet robot.
Called ‘Cocorobo’, the vacuum-cleaning robot built with artificial intelligence technology Cocoro Engine and speech-recognition engine by Raytron.
According to Yuji Onishi of Sharp, Cocorobo’s mood could vary depending on whether you use it everyday and speak to it everyday.
“Depending on how it feels, its words and movements vary a lot, so you can gain a feeling of closeness with it. Regarding Cocorobo’s learning capability, we’re planning upgrades that will make it evolve rapidly,” Onishi told DigInfo TV.
Integrated with ultrasound sensors, it’s also smart enough to avoid obstacles.
“These are three sensors, on the front and 45 degrees to either side,” Onishi said. “With infrared sensors transparent glass and black furniture can’t be recognized, so Cocorobo would bump into them. But with ultrasound sensors, it recognizes those items from the reflected sound waves, so it isn’t prone to bumping into things.”
Cocorobo can be controlled by its buttons, remote, or your smartphone. It also has a 1.3-megapixel camera, an LED light and wireless LAN connectivity that lets users check on the state of the room it has cleaned via their mobile phone.
To observe rooms using Cocorobo, users can connect to the internet via their smartphones. Cocorobo would then move 50cm away from its charging stand, and take four photos at 90-degree intervals, covering 360-degrees.
“You can check these with your smartphone. You can also use the smartphone like a radio controller to move Cocorobo forward or rotate it while watching the streaming video. If you set Cocorobo to automatic, you can also keep watching it move,” Onishi added.
Besides its extraordinary capabilities, Cocorobo as a vacuum cleaner sweeps and sucks dirt up with brushes and a rotating fan that runs at 14,000 rpm.
Cocorobo is expected to be released in early June, priced at US$1,100-1,600.
A vacuum cleaner with feelings and can communicate with people—is this a step towards the future home Ericsson predicted?
[via DigInfo TV]