While a cranky Roomba can make a terrible mess, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should never allow robots into our homes – only that we probably ought to be careful about how much we trust them. For example, letting them vacuum your floor seems reasonable, but relying on a vacuum bot to wake you up might not be such a great idea. And giving your vacuum bot a cute anime voice and something resembling a personality? That’s how humans end up extinct!
But apparently Sharp needs to watch more "Terminator" films, because that is exactly the kind of vacuuming robot they’ve created.
As you can see in the video below, Premium Cocorobo (Little Sister Version) is a limited edition, “premium” vacuum robot that does more than just clean your floors. The robot will also let you know the weather, wake you up in the morning, and give you some serious lip, saying, in a petulant voice, “I know, but I won’t tell!” depending on its “mood.” Even more disturbing than being obnoxious, it will call you “darling” when waking you up…
It turns out that Premium Cocorobo (Little Sister Version) is apparently packed with trivia about Japan’s various prefectures and, for example, can tell you about delicious apples in Aomori. In fact, we have to hand it to Sharp – when they make a talking robot vacuum cleaner, they go all out. Premium Cocorobo (Little Sister Version) is actually capable of responding to questions – for example, you can tell the robot that you want to exercise and it will respond with a recommendation like jogging or “Think of something yourself.” The robot vacuum is also apparently equipped with “Cloud-chan,” Cocorobo’s cat, which will read out user submitted “news” (more like Dear Abby letters) and responses compiled by Sharp Cloud Labs.
Premium Cocorobo (Little Sister Version) will also interface with your smartphone, allowing you to send instructions to the vacuum robot and get alerts about the device and your home as well. It can even tell you the temperature in your bedroom when you’re at work, reminding you of how much better your day would have been if you’d never let it wake you up. It looks like you can even use the Cocorobo to change settings on other devices like your air conditioner with its built-in IR transmitter, which would be a great way to preheat your house before you get home in winter.
Cocorobo, in addition to being packed with functions, comes with a huge price tag: 148,000 yen.
With all these functions packed on you wouldn’t expect its batteries to last too long–and you wouldn’t be wrong. That said, one charge lasts about 4 hours and provides enough power for Premium Cocorobo (Little Sister Version) to clean for roughly 100 minutes, which isn’t really outrageous for a robot vacuum.
If you do preorder, you can expect to get your cute, disturbing new vacuum sometime after it ships on Jan 16. Hopefully we won’t be hearing stories about people who overslept after their Premium Cocorobo (Little Sister Version) decided to rebel and not wake them up.
Sources: Sharp Cloud Labs, YouTube
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