Wakamaru Robot – Human Child Robot House Sits for You

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The Wakamaru Robot is Mitsubishi’s entry into the house-sitting robot market. Not to be outdone by the announcement last week of Roborior, the elliptical house sitter robot introduced by the partnership of Sony and Tmsuk, Wakamaru debuted this week at the Prototype Robot Exhibition in Japan (why do they get all the cool stuff first?), and is being marketed as “child shaped”.

Really she, or he, looks a bit like Rosie, the Jetson’s long-suffering robot. At 3.3 feet tall, and 66 pounds, she’s about the height and size of your average 6 year old. (Roborior is about the size and shape of a medium-sized watermelon.)

Like Roborior, Wakamaru’s primary selling features include her ability to surveil your house, and call your cell phone and send you video if something is amiss.

However, Wakamaru is different from Roborior in a few key ways. First, she can recognize faces (up to 10), and can carry on a conversation with a vocabulary of nearly 10,000 words.

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And with your schedule given to her in advance, she can even give you a wake-up call.

That said, however, another key difference is price. Where Roborior is a relatively reasonable $2600 USD (many home alarm systems will run you close to that), your own personal Wakamaru will set you back approximately $14,300.

And that’s a whole lotta house sitting.

Still, for those who can afford the child-like Wakamaru, a latchkey robot may be well in keeping with their lifestyle.

Others, like me, can just sit and ponder why they think of Kurt Vonnegut whenever they hear the name “Wakamaru”.

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