MIRAI SANZO: Japan Gets Android-Based Smart Home Robot
Ever since anime featuring giant robots showed up on your TV screen, you have known that the Japanese have had a special interest in the field of robotics. The latest technological wonder from that country however is not a 50-foot humanoid machine designed to fight off alien invaders. It is more practical than that. Sanyo Homes Corporation introduces Mirai Sanzo, a small spherical robot that runs on the Android operating system. It’s purpose? To help manage your household.
Mirai Sanzo is 22 centimeters (8.66 inches) in diameter. It responds to voice commands and is programmed with voice pattern recognition software. The other channels for user-interface are a touchscreen and touch sensors. The latter is used for activating and deactivating the robot. To add a humanizing touch, Mirai Sanzo glows in seven different colors and these are supposedly expressions of its various “emotional” states or responses.
The robot’s key feature is its Wi-Fi capability. This enables it to connect with your mobile phone, computer, and any networked appliance in your home. Mirai Sanzo is actually part of Sanyo’s new line of products geared towards their goal of creating smart homes. Through a fully-networked home automation system, you can use the robot to perform a variety of household tasks. These can range from setting up your house alarm to turning on the air conditioner. Yes, the small round anime-looking object sitting on the kitchen counter is the butler.
The version of Android used by Mirai Sanzo is as yet undisclosed. Nevertheless the fact that it’s been chosen as the operating system for this unique product clearly indicates the platform’s potential for broader applications beyond the smart phone.