A Japanese company started selling a futuristic home robot on September 16. The meter-high humanoid may make housework a thing of the past for the rich. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries put its internet-linked Wakamaru robot on sale at a price of $150,000. Just 100 of these home helps will initially be available. The robot is the idea of Japanese designer Toshiyuki Kita. He said his creation was “designed in the shape of a human being so that it is not considered simply a machine” and that it has an “independent personality”.
The robot has an impressive number of features. It is capable of recognizing up to ten individuals by name and has a vocabulary of 10,000 words. It can also navigate its way around the house. The Wakamaru website explains three major functions that will help the lives of the robot’s users. It can live with the family and provide daily schedules; it can speak with the family and be a friend; and it has its own role of looking after the house when no one is home. However, the price needs to come down to make it affordable by all.