Sharp has made a vacuum cleaner that roams about a room going about its business and once it is done it settles into its little charging dock to regain its energy. The Cocorobo which looks very much like the Roomba by iRobot, is actually a tri-lingual vacuum cleaner that can even act as a mobile camera which upon-demand, can take 4 photos of its surroundings which divulge all the details around it. The photos will be sent to your smartphone and in an even cooler feature, you can control it remotely from your phone with a live feed of what it can see through a camera in the front of it that is supported by a LED light.
The Cocorobo can speak three languages, Japanese, English and Chinese and beyond that, it also has been preloaded to speak the Kansai dialect that is viewed as a more comical or wittier version of normal Japanese. For now the Cocorobo can say 36 phrases which include, “Long time no see” and “Hello”. That said however, its linguistics prowess is not meant for control or to give it directions but it is actually just a novelty addition. On the other hand, it apparently learns and reacts to what its owners say and it will have different moods based on that. For example if you talk to it often, it will be happy and give enthusiastic replies but if you don’t talk to it as often as it would like you to, it will be surly and just go about its business with a shorter and more official reply.
The name which is a play on the Japanese word for ‘heart’ which is ‘kokoro’ is said to be an important aspect of the emotional vacuum cleaner. Of course, with all these nifty additions along with a lot more that can be seen in the video embedded above, it also can clean a room with its 2 rotating side brushes and 1 main rotating brush. Moreover, it also purifies the air while it scurries around a room and it doesn’t hurt that the on-board camera will help people find things that are lost under the furniture.
Sharp plans to sell Cocorobo for 130,000 yen ($1,600) starting from next month in Japan followed by China and other Asian nations and for now other launch dates and overseas sales plans are yet to be decided. The company plans to produce 4,000 Cocorobos a month along with another 6,000 that don’t have the speech ability along with the recognition feature which will retail for 90,000 yen ($1,100).