Haro, the cute robot mascot of the anime series “Mobile Suit Gundam,” is about to get real as Bandai’s new communication robot, slated to launch some time next year. Earlier this month, a prototype was showcased at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies trade show, where it was greeted with much attention from fans.

Bandai’s Haro is an interactive communication robot, equipped with AI and an abundance of pre-programmed knowledge about “Gundam.” It has voice-recognition and responds to questions by using key words to draw answers from its database. It can also create quizzes on “Gundam” trivia for the user. Equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Haro can be connected to smartphones and used as a speaker or alarm clock, but really it’s more charming just as a communication tool. It can sway side-to-side, swivel to face the person talking to it and make expressions with its LED eyes and mouth and moving ear-like flaps.

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