There's got to be a subliminal message of some sort coming out of Japan with the influx of robotic gizmos the country seems to be endlessly conceptualizing, not to mention giving them affectionate nicknames. Just name us any other country that's so obsessed with birthing mechanical substitutes.
The latest labor of love is one ApriPoko, an 11-inch-tall talking robot developed by the researchers at Toshiba as a voice-activated universal remote control. ApriPoko is still in embryo stage, so it's unlikely to debut in stores anytime soon. But its purpose in life has been coded into its genes. It will, unlike your regular universal remote, go beyond manual programming into the realm of voice control.
Since it's a robot with some semblance of artificial intelligence, ApriPoko is smart enough to observe how you use your remote control and then ask you questions regarding your actions. Say you've just turned on the TV with the remote. The robot detects the IR signal and will then ask what you are doing. If you answered "Turn on the TV", the robot will memorize the voice command and associate it to the function, after which you can perform the same task using voice control.
While this sounds nifty (we did mention something similar earlier this year for a Doraemon "pistol" remote), particularly if you own a dozen remote-controlled devices, we're still doubtful at this stage about just how reliable voice control is. Still, it's all very experimental right now. And who knows, by the time ApriPoko-chan reaches infancy, the Japanese might be perverse enough to program it to do a little dance and jig each time it gets a voice command right. Yeah!
(Source: Crave Asia)