As a huge conglomerate, NEC is active in a lot of areas. But unknown to many people outside Japan, the company is quite aggressive in the robotics field, too. Their PaPeRo, a cute helper robot, for example, has been around since 1997 already. And now, just in time for a robot exhibition that currently takes place in Tokyo, the company shows an updated version of the little guy.
The new PaPerRo R500 stands 38cm tall and weighs 6.5kg. It can perform about 200 different operations, for example holding simple conversations with humans. NEC equipped the robot with special face recognition software so that PaPeRo can identify up to 30 different people and change his behavior depending on who he’s speaking to.
Powered by a lithium-ion battery, PaPeRo can work for around 100 minutes before having to return to the recharging station, which you can see on the picture above (he does this automatically).
NEC plans to lease out the robots to anyone interested for $600 per month soon – but only in Japan.
Via Robot Watch [JP]