Do We Really Need a Robot That Doubles as a Smartphone?

RoboHon is a bi-pedal robot that doubles as a smartphone that can read text messages, walk, talk, dance, and be your personal assistant. But is it practical?

I thought we wanted bigger screens on our smartphones? I mean, some phones are so big they’re basically tablets. But at least they still fit in our pockets - barely.

Would you want a phone shaped like a robot with a tiny 2-inch display?

Sharp thinks you do. At the Ceatec electronics show in Japan, Sharp debuted its RoboHon bi-pedal robot that doubles as a smartphone. Yes, you read that correctly. RoboHon (Japanese for “robot” and “phone”) stands just under 8 inches tall, has a camera and projector on its head, a 2-inch, 320 x 240 LCD screen on its back, built-in mic and speakers and a facial and voice recognition system.

Sharp says RoboHon walks, talks, dances, and connects to LTE. To answer a call, you place your ear by the robot’s head. RoboHon can read text messages outloud and you can verbally dictate a text message for RoboHon to send back.

It can also act as an alarm and be your personal assistant, reminding you of what you have planned on your calendar.

RoboHon is the brainchild of Tomotaka Takahashi, CEO of Robo Garage. We first heard of this project back in March 2015. I didn’t think it was practical then as a “smartphone” and still don’t. I mean, besides walking and dancing, isn’t my iPhone capable of doing everything RoboHon can do?

I guess it’s a unique concept, but I’m not even sure how much Takahashi believes in the product. Speaking to the press at Ceatec, he said he thinks RoboHon is practical in many ways, but that he also won’t be giving up his iPhone anytime soon.

Sure RoboHon is cute and could be entertaining for a bit, but as a smartphone replacement, no thanks.

No word on pricing, but Sharp says it’ll release more information about RoboHon closer to its launch in 2016.

Let us know in the poll below: are you in or out on RoboHon?

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About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe:  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.


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