Sharp Corp. has introduced a new mobile phone combined with a humanoid robot.
The RoBoHoN robot phone, which stands 19 cm tall and weighs about 390 grams, will make its commercial debut in the first half of 2016, the Osaka-based firm said during a preview event Tuesday at CEATEC, Japan’s biggest IT and electronics trade show, that will kick off Wednesday at Makuhari Messe in the city of Chiba.
From the front, the device looks just like a toy humanoid robot, but its back sports a 2-inch touch screen.
This panel works just like a smartphone screen, enabling users to browse the Internet and make phone calls.
Sharp said the idea for the RoBoHoN emerged out of contemplating what would be the next evolution for mobile phones.
Since the robot has speaking and voice recognition functions, people can verbally ask it to perform tasks. In a demonstration, Sharp officials asked the RoBoHoN to introduce itself, take photographs and dance.
Sharp said the robot will learn from interacting with people and get smarter, as data will be accumulated in its cloud system.
Besides a camera, the robot has a projector in its forehead, giving it the ability to project images.
To talk on the phone, the user will press the robot’s belly to their cheek, with the speaker placed at the robot’s mouth.
Sharp said it had yet to decide the sales channel for the robot phone, such as whether to sell it through domestic mobile carriers.