RoBoHoN combines the connectivity and functions of a smartphone with the performance and appearance of a small robot pal. Shown by Sharp at CEATEC 2015 in Japan, Gizmag went along for a meet and greet.
RoBoHoN has the look of a child's toy and is undeniably cute. It stands 19.5 cm (7.67 in) tall and tips the scales at 390 g (13.8 oz), which is a good deal smaller than other communications robots like Pepper and Nao, but on the large and heavy side for a smartphone.
As a robot it can stand up, walk and sit down. It can also dance to downloaded tunes, wave its arms when "speaking" or playing music through the back of its head, flash the lights around its eyes when a message or call is received, or combine sounds, movement and visual actions when a preset alarm goes off. It has an integrated camera in its head, and can throw captured moments onto any suitably flat surface courtesy of a built-in projector.
When used as a phone, it raises its arms and bends its legs slightly forward to mimic the shape of a handset – and as you can see from the photo below, it looks kind of embarrassing to use. It runs on a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, packs 3G and LTE mobile connectivity as well as 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and sports a 2-inch QVGA touchscreen to the rear of the bot. Details of the operating system have not been revealed.
Specifications are subject to change prior to launch next year, but a booth rep told us that the few specs that have been given are unlikely to undergo significant changes when RoBoHoN rolls into production. No pricing information has been announced at this time.
Check out the launch video (in Japanese with English subtitles) to learn more about RoBoHoN.