Sharp’s new RoBoHon smartphone looks to be hands down cooler as a robot companion than the walking talking teddy bear from Steven Spielberg’s AI. And you can buy it, providing you live in Japan and are willing to wait patiently until 2016. It makes for a bulky phone all right, but it’s so sick, just about anyone (especially anime and tech buffs) would be willing to excuse that without blinking.
To get a proper idea of just how awesome RoBoHon is, check out the YouTube video posted below. It dances, it walks, it takes verbal instructions, it has a mini projector, it captures photos and videos with its large black eyes, it raises its arms when there’s incoming and it makes us weep copiously with our hearts full of longing.
RoBoHon is not derived from ‘robot’ and ‘honey,’ if that’s the first thing which jumped into your head. Its name is a combination of ‘robot’ and ‘phone’ instead. Sharp has been showing off this robot smartphone at the CEATEC event in Japan. It was designed in collaboration with Tomotaka Takahashi, roboticist and founder of Kyoto University’s ROBO-GARAGE.
The 7.6-inch RoboHon has a 2-inch screen on its back, while the projector and camera components are on its face. According to its promotional video, it appears to be able to respond to human emotions as well as natural dialogue. 2 minutes and 15 seconds into the clip, you can see it saying ‘I love you’ to its tearful owner.
But that’s probably just a bit of an exaggeration of its capabilities. Weighing almost 390 grams, the robot smartphone features LTE, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, and embeds a quad core 1.2GHz MSM 8926 processor. In addition to a Search function, it can read out mails or texts and has in-built voice/face recognition technology.
Not enough has been revealed about this prototype version of the RoboHon at present. But who cares as long as Sharp will be nice enough to launch it outside Japan too.