Saturday, November 05, 2005


It wasn`t very long ago that home robots seemed like science fiction. In recent years some bots have beome available but have been quite difficult to get hold of. If trend-setting Japan is anything to go by, we may soon be moving into an era of more ubiquitous robots. The above robot is called "Roborior" (a typically Japanese melding of the words "robot" and "interior"). It is produced by tmusk and shares the same features as many of its predecessors. These include a gurard mode for when you are away from your house, in this mode it will contact you via your mobile telephone it it detects unexpected movement. The robot can also be remotely controlled via a mobile phone giving the user a remote presence in the house and the ability to hold a conversation through the robot. With the latest generation of mobile video phones already exisitng in Japan, it is possible, through the robot, to make a video call from your mobile to your house wand have the video displayed on the home television! Japan is the most rapidly ageing population in the wolrd and this robot is clearly being marketed at busy professionals as an easy way of keeping an eye on elderly relatives as well as a for use as a standard guard robot. It is available now at the Takamaya dpartment store, a chain of large shops that are spread throughout Japan. The price of almost 300,000 yen (1,500 pounds) means it is still outside the means of most people but is the cheapest such robot I have seen, The prices are only going to get lower.