When it comes to bizarre robots, you can always count on Hiroshi Ishiguro: the so-called Elfoid [JP], a mix between mini humanoid, telepresence robot and cell phone, isn’t exactly made by him but based on his Telenoid robot from last year. Developed by Japan’s Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR), the Elfoid phone is supposed to make remote communication more intimate and personal.
The 20cm long Elfoid features a number of control buttons (which are hidden behind its skin) and a camera that captures emotions on your face and your head’s movements. The Elfoid used by the person you are talking to replicates the information “in real-time”, transmitting not only your voice but also your “feelings”.
The ATR hopes to have a commercial version of the phone ready within 5 years. The plan is to equip future Elfoids with a range of motors, sensors and other bells and whistles to boost the level of realism.
Here’s a video:
Via Asahi Shimbun [JP]