papero-petitNEC’s PaPeRo robot is one cute little bugger, and we have seen our fair share of him in action before in the past, where he has received periodic upgrades as time progresses. Perhaps it is time for a change in the PaPeRo line? NEC thinks so, too, by launching an initiative that they call the Papero Partner Program, which will enlist the help of research and business partners to assist in the development of apps, as well as to distribute the robot to end users. Not only that, it was also accompanied by the NEC PaPeRo Petit’s debut.

The new NEC PaPeRo Petit would be 24 centimeters (9.4 inches) in height, tipping the scales at 1.3kg, which would make it approximately half the size of its predecessor. Just what kind of hardware can we find underneath the hood? The NEC PaPeRo Petit will carry a slew of sensors such as cameras, ultrasonic range finders, a temperature sensor, and microphones in order to help it detect people and to look in their direction, never mind that it is shrouded completely in darkness. The NEC PaPeRo Petit also has the ability to pick out faces with a 80% to 90% success rate when it comes to speech recognition. [Press Release]

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