Japanese design firm Flower Robotics has unveiled a new concept robot cell phone that moves around on two wheels and learns from user behavior.
Flower teamed up with telecom KDDI and its Iida line of products to create the device, dubbed Polaris. In the Japanese video below it looks like a cousin of the Sony Rolly MP3 player, but Polaris is more than just a pair of wheels and electronics.
Polaris consists of a robot sphere and the phone itself. The sphere can autonomously dock with its charging unit. The phone gathers information about user behavior and sends it to the sphere, which displays the information on a TV screen. The phone can also serve as a TV remote control.
Flower Robotics says the device can collect data and pool it in a "Life Log." It gathers info such as kilometers walked daily, online transactions, and e-mails sent and received. It then starts to predict user behavior and display relevant "advice and other information" on a user's TV.
The company, which is headed by designer and architect Tatsuya Matsui, isn't too clear on what such advice would consist of. Presumably nuggets like, "You really shouldn't kick me. Don't kick me, OK?"
"Polaris 'grows on you' not only because of its physical charm but also because of the way its daily data collection causes it to develop its own personality, creating unique movements, sounds and light patterns," the firm says.
The lithium ion battery-powered sphere has infrared, image, and obstacle sensors, with a motion range of about 10 yards. At 6.6 pounds and 5 inches across, it's designed to fit right next to a TV.
Flower hopes to commercialize Polaris sometime next year, but there's no word on a possible price.
(Via Pink Tentacle)