KDDI pairs a mobile phone with a robot

The robot seeks to act like a personal secretary and could be on the market as early as next year

As mobile phones add more features and more users connect with social media, the cell phone becomes a more important part of people's lives. Japanese carrier KDDI has developed a robot companion that seeks to bridge the gap between a phone and its user and a prototype was shown at this week's Ceatec expo near Tokyo.

The robot, called Polaris, is spherical and opens up to reveal a cradle on which a cell phone can sit. While in the cradle the phone communicates various data to the robot, which is able to manipulate the information and provide helpful suggestions to its user, the company said.

There were few specifics about how this could be put into practice, but KDDI offered the example of the robot analyzing a user's diet and offering suggestions. Presumably the user would have to enter what they eat each day for this to happen, and there seems no reason why a robot could do this any better than software running on the phone itself, except perhaps that the robot is cuter.

In addition to the user's diet, the robot would also collect other information in a "life log" and communicate with the user by displaying suggestions and data on a TV. KDDI likened the data it would provide to that coming from a personal secretary, and said it would deliver "essential information when you need it, wherever you may be and with whomever you may be talking."

Being spherical allows the robot to move around a little but it doesn't have a particularly long range, so something potentially useful like having your mobile phone run around the house and find you when it rings is probably beyond its capabilities.

KDDI presented the robot, developed by Flower Robotics, as a prototype and said commercialization could come as early as 2010. There's no word yet on how much it might cost.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobile phonesrobotsJapanceatec 2009KDDI

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?