CES is all about anything related to technology. Everything about consumer electronics and things that people want to buy. This next product is surely a perfect example of that.
In October, last year, Sharp released a demo video showing the capabilities of a Robo-companion called RoboHon. The video was in Japanese, so, it's only natural to assume the gadget will never see a US release. But so it happened that it was on display at CES 2016, courtesy of Qualcomm, who are proud that the gadget is powered by a Snapdragon 400.
This friendly looking Robo-companion is actually a fully functioning smartphone, able to make and receive calls, text messages, and connect to a data services. We were very impressed with this new idea of a smartphone companion, great for children, elderly people, or any adult who's really a kid at heart.
RoboHon is manufactured by Sharp and the unit being shown at CES was only a prototype. It had motors in it, but the software must not be finalized for moving around on its own.
At first glance RoboHon seemed to have about 5 motors on either side of its body but it turned I was wrong.
The robot can rotate its ankles out and in, and back and forward, and there is one motor in each leg-hip joint.
There were two motors in each arm: one that moves the arm up and down and the other opens the arm out and back.
RoboHon can also nod, shake his head, and bow hello. This brings the number of motors in the RoboHon to about 14 (assuming: every axis of movement = 1 motor).
There is a camera in the center of its forehead and a projector right above the camera. RoboHon can hang around your neck, and take pictures throughout your day, then you can sit with RoboHon while it plays a slideshow of the highlights of your day.
RoboHon can show you pictures, maps, and videos via its projector. Directly behind its head is a generously sized speaker that doubles as an earpiece.
Its back houses a ~2-inch touch screen display. Micro USB port, pogo charging pins, the right side of its torso has a SIM slot while its left side has a notification volume switch.
The Japanese are known for liking 'cute' things and this is definitely reflective of that idea. RoboHon upon first impression, is undeniably cute.
The girl who was showing me RoboHon was Japanese and this particular unit only responded to Japanese commands. The one she used translated to "Wake up, RoboHon!" Upon hearing this command, RoboHon's eyes flashed purple.
RoboHon's concept can be compared to something like the Amazon Echo, it can live on a table or desk for responding to commands and giving information about the weather or news.
But RoboHon is something more than that. To some children and elderly, (or even grown adults) RoboHon can be a companion and a friend. The rep said that she'd been carrying RoboHon around her neck and began feeling attached to it.
Besides what is shown on the promo video, there is not much else we know about the RoboHon. Neither information about RAM, internal memory, availability, nor pricing was available from the representative at the Qualcomm booth. She did, however, say that more information about RoboHon will be announced at Mobile World Congress this year in Barcelona, Spain.