At last an attempt to make a decent companion robot. Cute as he is though, he doesn’t seem to actually do very much. He’s certainly not mobile and interaction is sadly lacking despite claims that he has the ability to recognise human emotion. I still get the feeling that these large corporations haven’t spent enough money on asking what people actually want from a robot, or why they might actually buy one, how they would use it etc. Ivory tower robotics rather than Interaction Design. I don’t understand why lessons haven’t been taken ‘on board’ from the slow computer uptake of seniors, if they didn’t make any sense to them or had any meaningful use, why would they bother tackling the steep technological learning curve?
The Paro model is particularly compelling but still suffers from the stigma of robot toy, as does this Bear but personal preferences combined with utility (for me) will become the so called ‘killer app’ in commercial robotics… the concept of the bespoke robot is getting nearer though.