Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wakamaru isn't ready

Things didn't turn out so well for Mitsubishi's cute little Wakamaru house bot,
which the company introduced in 2005. Initially expecting to sell 100
of the $14k+ bots, Mitsubishi received only a few dozen orders, and
shipped even fewer, since certain customers with multi-story homes or
no internet access wouldn't have gotten much mileage out of the yellow
robot. Other problems further limited Wakamaru's acceptance in the
home, like limited conversational abilities and lack of support for
internet content beyond weather forecasts and email. People also
expected Wakamaru to take over household duties like sweeping and
cooking, and while the bot's heart is in the right place, he's not
exactly handy with a broom. For now Mitsubishi is going to rent Wakamaru out
to corporations, and is working on expanding arm functionality to allow
for the carrying of drinks or newspapers, and to let him open doors.

Article Link (Engadget)

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