Trying to get a foot into the global mobile phone market, Sharp took a different route: they developed a pocket-sized robot which features a full smart phone.
Baptized as RoboHon (combining the Japanese words for "robot" and "phone"), this robot/phone combo companion had its world premiere at CEATEC 2015 in Japan.
This 20cm high robot walks, dances, talks, responds to questions, has a built in camera and a projector to beam images onto surfaces, speaks out when e-mails or text messages arrive. With incoming calls it is a phone but can also respond, or use built-in speakers.
RoboHon can be carried in the breast pocket or in carrying cases already available. In a car, he sits on the dashboard.
Sharp intends to market RoboHon in Japan first from February 2016 and plans a global roll-out in future. RoboHon first has to learn other languages than Japanese.
First reactions during the CEATEC show were quite impressive: despite a bulky form when compared to typical smartphones, Robohon created an uproar. Everybody seemed to fall in love with the little guy. From the land of the Tamagotchi, Wacky Wall Walkers, anime, karaoke, manga, RoboHon could be just the smartphone hit that Sharp is looking for...
[Reportage by Peter Weber, direct from CEATEC 2015]
Watch the product video