Groove X develops home-use communication robot
Groove X Inc, a venture firm, has developed “Lovot,” a home-use robot. Groove X said the robot can communicate with humans like a living creature. The company will sell two units of the robot as a set at a price of ¥598,000 (excluding tax) per set. Also, a monthly fee of ¥19,960 (excluding tax) is required per set.
The company will start shipment in the latter half of 2019. It plans to start to sell single units of the robot in 2020.
The height and weight of the Lovot are 430mm and 3 kg. It travels with two wheels driven by in-wheel motors on the floor. It can detect physical contacts by humans with touch sensors located all over the body.
The wheels can be retracted into the body so that they do not touch the user when the robot is hugged. Most of its surface is covered with cloth. And the user can change the clothes of the Lovot.
On its head, there is a “center horn,” which is black, has a cylindrical shape and is equipped with a half celestial sphere camera and an infrared camera. They are used to recognize humans and objects surrounding the robot. To limit the area of activity, the Lovot draws the map of the interior of the building by using a depth camera located in the lower part of the robot.
The robot can operate for 45 minutes per charge. When the remaining battery level becomes low, it automatically moves to a charging station called “nest.”
“The price of the Lovot is almost the same as its production cost,” said Kaname Hayashi, president of Groove X.
Hayashi is known as one of the developers of the “Pepper” humanoid robot. Unlike the Pepper, the Lovot does not have functions to display contents, have a conversation, etc.
“We aimed to develop a robot with which we can feel secure, instead of a robot that works in place of humans,” he said.