NEC introduces the PaPeRo petit robot

Nov 13, 2013 by Nancy Owano weblog
PaPeRo petit

(Phys.org) —Japan's portfolio of robot creations has become well known as a versatile one that includes personal home robots which, in appearance as well as functions, can motivate humans to like spending time with them. The robots are not human-like in appearance. Their designers, as if to deliberately ward off the discomfort that comes with uncanny valley qualms that one's machine friend is too lifelike, focus on robots that are somewhere between cute little pets and cute toddler-like cartoon characters, or harmless space creatures for preschoolers. As a result, their creators seek to have people of all ages, including the aged, feel comfortable staying side by side with the robots, communicating with them and allowing the robots to help them with daily tasks.

An especially engaging example has been NEC's PaPeRo (short for Partner-type-Personal-Robot). This has a long history, long at least in computer years, going back to 1997, when NEC began development for the R100. The name PaPeRo was adopted in 2001, with the robot drawing attention not only for its cute appearance but facial recognition system. NEC has over the years produced different PaPeRo variants. This month, NEC announced its latest PaPePro rendition, the even smaller "PaPeRo petit" robot, which could serve a household in a number of ways, as a nanny, or as a sentinel housesitter, among other roles. The PaPeRo petit is about 9 inches tall—half the size of the previous version—and weighs less than three pounds.

NEC is now looking outside the company, for partnerships where the robot's services can be expanded and where new software applications could help hasten the robot's entry potentially into people's homes, schools. and offices. The robot now has a number of sensors and several cameras.

Earlier this week, NEC announced the "PaPeRo Partner Program" for providing services using a robot and system. For the PaPeRo Partner Program, NEC developed not only the smaller-sized "petit" version of the PaPeRo R500 communication robot but also a cloud for services using the new robot. According to a Tuesday report from House of Japan, the company will offer an application programming interface for using the PaPeRo petit and cloud computing system to its partner companies.

According to Kyodo News, NEC said it will offer a new service as early as January 2014 "that will allow family members living apart to watch over each other utilizing the robot and cloud computing technology." According to The Japan Times, NEC Associate Senior Vice President Takemi Hosaka said NEC will launch the service in Japan first, but eventually wants to expand overseas, including Australia.

Explore further: Robots on reins could be the 'eyes' of firefighters

More information: via Tech-On

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Putting a face on a robot

Oct 01, 2013

What does the assistive robot of the future look like? It depends. A new study from the Georgia Institute of Technology finds that older and younger people have varying preferences about what they would want ...

Recommended for you

Virtual robotization for human limbs

13 hours ago

Recent advances in computer gaming technology allow for an increasingly immersive gaming experience. Gesture input devices, for example, synchronise a player's actions with the character on the screen. Entertainment ...

Robots on reins could be the 'eyes' of firefighters

Mar 25, 2015

Researchers at King's College London have developed revolutionary reins that enable robots to act like guide dogs, which could enable that firefighters moving through smoke-filled buildings could save vital ...

Robot revolution will change world of work

Mar 24, 2015

Robots will fundamentally change the shape of the workforce in the next decade but many industries will still need a human touch, a QUT Future of Work Conference has heard.

Sawyer is a new face in collaborative robots

Mar 23, 2015

Sawyer is a new collaborative robot (robots that work with employees) from Boston, Massachusetts-based Rethink Robotics. In human terms, the salient feature about this robot is its friendly eyes on its "face" ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.