Lost in a store? Let electronics maker Fujitsu’s robot help guide your way.
Equipped with voice recognition capabilities, cameras and sensors, the 130-cm tall robot on wheels will go on sale for 6 million yen in November — for just such a purpose.
Tokyo-based Fujitsu Ltd. plans to sell about 20 or 30 of the enon (pronounced EH-nohn) robots, enon standing for “exciting nova on network,” and already has received about 10 orders.
The price tag covers just the machine — the software is extra. Fujitsu refused to give a price estimate for the software.
Enon can find its way around an office or store, based on a map preprogrammed into its computerized brain, at speeds of up to 3 kph.
Its mechanical arms and hands can lift objects weighing up to 0.5 kg.
Japan boasts one of the most advanced robot industries in the world and uses robots widely in manufacturing plants, including those of major auto companies. Robots are also being developed for entertainment.
Enon is geared toward use in stores or restaurants, and Fujitsu says that, down the road, it may help alleviate shortages in the labor force as the birthrate declines and the elderly population continues to grow.
“We hope that robots like this will be able to help people in an aging society whose population is declining,” Tokuichi Shishido, director at Fujitsu Frontech, said Tuesday.
The round-headed robot greeted journalists fine with its female voice: “Hello. Welcome to Fujitsu. I’m enon. Are you a reporter?”
But the demonstration of its capabilities wasn’t exactly impressive. It led the crowd down a hallway to a room, but failed to see a basket with pamphlets it was supposed to pick up.
In another demonstration, it rolled away about 1 meter and placed a box on a table — after knocking it over a few times.
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