[CEATEC 2012] Remember the NEC PaPeRo robot that was said to possibly end up in homes this year? Well, it looks like we’re a step closer to seeing that happen. At the moment, it is available as a research prototype for developers but not regular consumers like you and me and Docomo wants to change that. At this year’s CEATEC, the Japanese company showed off its Shabette Robo. Seeing how Docomo worked together with NECT, it’s no surprise that the robot looks exactly like the PaPeRo. However, it has some interesting features that make it more valuable to consumers. First up, it will feature Docomo’s voice recognition service that will allow users to communicate with the robot using natural speech (think of it as Siri on a robot – except that it only works with Japanese, at least for now).
The robot is said to be able to keep track of your schedule (which you store in the cloud), and gives you additional information and recommendations based on your preferences. For example, if you’re going out of country, the Shabette Robo will let you know what the weather is going to be like over there so you can pack appropriately. The robot will also be able to recommend places you should visit/eat at while you’re away. All this information is sent to your phone as well (through a special app) so you don’t have to reenter them yourself.
The robot can also be used to send music recommendations to your phone, which you can sample before you make any purchases. In fact, the robot itself can be used to play music, so I guess you could treat it like a portable music system if you’re having a party in your house. When out of juice, the robot is capable of heading to a charger to juice itself, which is great for folks who always forget to charge their devices. Not a bad companion to have for someone who lives alone and requires someone to remind them about everything, though he/she will have to make sure that they constantly update their online schedules in order to make full use of it. No word on pricing or a release date, but we’ll keep you posted. Check out a video demonstration below: