[CEATEC 2011] We have seen previous versions of the PaPeRo robot from NEC in the past, and this time around NEC decided that it is ready for an upgrade. What new stuff and features can you expect from this updated little creature which seems to be almost lifelike at times, like a pet save for the fact that it comes in cold, metal furnishings? The updated PaPeRo will now boast visual recognition capability, allowing it to project “avatars” of people elsewhere. I wonder whether this would mean some sort of 3D holographic capability like Hitachi’s effort…


Apart from that, there is also the ability to type-to-speech, although not directly to audio conversations. Just like many other robotic vacuum cleaners this time around, the robot is capable of recharging itself automatically when it starts to run low on juice. Currently, trials of the update PaPeRo are being held in public buildings and old folks’ homes, although we don’t know how long they will remain under the testing phase.

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