A new robot has been developed in Japan that will roam around your house and do little more than ask you for hugs. Lovot has a plush body that’s warm to touch and big, attentive eyes. The robot itself looks like a combination of a penguin and an owl but it certainly doesn’t look as odd as that may sound.
Lovot isn’t a robot that will clean your floors or help you out with chores. It’s only meant to roam around and just ask the user for hugs. Think of it as an alternative to a pet since they’re actual living beings that require a lot of care. Lovot is a machine.
It has been developed by former Formula 1 racecar designer Kaname Hayashi who has also worked on Softbank’s Pepper humanoid robot. “Everything about this robot is designed to create attachment,” he said while pointing out that Luvot won’t do any of your work. “In fact, it might just get in the way,” Hayashi said.
The robot doesn’t speak but can make noises that sound like chirps. It can’t stream music or perform any complex tasks. The “eyes” are actually six graphical layers that can mimic involuntary eye movement. What it does have is a powerful array of sensors that allow it to have the level of autonomy that one would expect from a small pet. The chips that it has are actually used in industrial-grade applications.
The heat that’s generated by computation is directed to the robot’s surface so that it feels nice to hold. There are more than 50 sensors on Lovot’s body that can detect touch. The three cameras map and navigate its surrounding environment and allow it to remember up to 1,000 people and also tell up to 100 apart at the same time. All of this does come at a cost, though. The Lovot is priced around $3,000 and requires a monthly plan which start at $90. Sales will begin in Japan next year.