Manufacturers are trying to create the most user-friendly, compact and thus useful companion robot, whose appearance and functionality would satisfy most consumers. Currently, many sketches of artists and designers are difficult to implement for various reasons, and yet companies are already trying to find the form factor, which will be kindly received by the public. Panasonic, a Japanese electronics corporation, has long been engaged in the development and production of robots, and its latest achievement, Desktop Companion Robot, looks like an egg. It is able to move at the speed of up to 3.5 km/h and articulates a child’s voice to communicate with people. According to the manufacturer, its voice can affect the interaction between people and the robot favorably.
Desktop Companion Robot will not occupy much space in the apartment or on the table as it is the size of a kitchen mixer (its diameter is 290 mm, the height is 485 mm, and the weight is 3.7 kg). Inside, the robot is equipped with a Wi-Fi module, which gives access to processing natural speech with the use of an artificial intelligence technology, downloading useful information and remote control of smart appliances. A built-in projector facilitates distance learning in other spheres of life.
Desktop Companion Robot is equipped with a 4-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, having the frequency of 1.2 GHz and running on UNIX; WVGA + resolution projector with the brightness of 50 lumens; an 8-megapixel camera, five infrared sensors, a 600 mAh battery that enables the robot to work for 6 hours, a Wi-Fi module and Bluetooth. The prototype is designed to showcase the latest Panasonic achievements in such areas as the development of batteries, machine vision tools and sensors, navigation systems and traffic control. It is not reported yet when the robot will be available and what its cost will be. Communication with the robot is possible only in English.