Japan-based security company ALSOK has developed an adorable robot [JP] that fulfills not one but a number of different functions. The so-called An9-PR can be used as a guide to help people in shopping centers or office buildings, an autonomously moving digital signage system or for surveillance. It’s the big brother of the An9-RR, which was introduced back in March.
It features a simple electric bulletin board that’s wrapped around its head and a total of three LCD screens built into its body (one 19-incher is on the front and there are two 12-inchers on the back). People can view ads, information on buildings and other information on these (touch) screens.
Needless to say, the battery-powered and four-wheeled An9-PR is also equipped with Wi-Fi and a camera that helps him identify humans with a face recognition function. This means the robot can also be used for simple security purposes.
When used in shopping centers, the An9-PR also sends coupons and other information to cell phones. It’s also equipped with infrared and a Felica smart card reader and writer.
The An9-PR weighs 200kg and stands 160 cm tall. And it isn’t a prototype. ALSOK wants to sell the little guy for $150,000 (including five years of free maintenance) beginning March 2010.