We saw Fujitsu’s “service robot” ENON back in October 2008 during the CEATEC exhibition in Chiba/Japan (see video below), and it seems the friendly guy has been selling well in the meantime. The robot can be used as an information terminal, for entertainment purposes, patrolling, assistance etc. And last weekend, ENON could be seen in the wild, namely in a shopping mall in Osaka.
That specific ENON spent the entire Saturday interacting with customers. Equipped with a camera and face recognition software, the robot is capable of detecting a human’s gender and age. Combine this with ENON’s ability to “speak” and move around, and you get a store clerk of a very different kind.
During the test in Osaka, ENON was able to sweet-talk different customers into going to different stores, depending on the age and gender of the people he interacted with. Reportedly, the robot recommended a bar to a woman in her 30s by telling her the style of the bar would fit her beauty. ENON can switch between a female and a male voice, too.
Here’s the robot recommending a seafood restaurant:
Here’s ENON trying to talk people into going to a bar:
And finally, here’s the ENON video I made over one year ago at the CEATEC show: