The Polaris mobile handset robot
Despite having limited success in other countries, Japan enjoys nothing more than coming up with progressively weird and wacky designs for robots, and it doesn’t seem to matter whether they have any real practical application.The latest entry into this category is the Polaris mobile phone robot, a spherical, mobile device designed to house a handset that, when not docked, will be busy recording data based on a user’s day-to-day activity.
Currently at prototype stage, Polaris’ primary mission is to gather information over time, which can then be ‘communicated’ through a television to present tailored information and advice on subjects such as healthy food suggestions, weather information and business news updates. It’ll also be capable of communicating via a series of lights, sounds and movements. Polaris monitors such things as daily travel, walking habits, calls, emails and online activity to better personalize the advice on offer and will allegedly be capable of finding its own way to a TV set where it’ll connect to a contactless charger.
Though the benefits of Polaris sound intriguing at best, it seems as though its ability to navigate a room will be dependent on the placement of a series of magnets, and developers are suggesting that future versions may utilize sensors built into the walls of a home. It’ll have to come up with a few more useful applications before people start hacking up drywalls though, and even at this early stage Polaris seems to have fairly limited appeal.
A commercial version is expected to be ready next year though there are no details on expected pricing or whether it’ll be available worldwide. Check out the moderately baffling videos below to see Polaris in action, and decide for yourself whether it's much more than a fancy phone dock.