Japan’s largest consumer electronics show, CEATEC 2017, is in full swing, and some of the most impressive robots around have trundled their way to the Makuhari Messe exhibition center just outside of Tokyo. Taking place from Tuesday to Friday, the annual show sees manufacturers from all over demonstrate their latest designs.
These machines push the boundaries of what we can expect from robots. Some of them fulfill long-held childhood wishes, like the replica Haro robot from the sci-fi Mobile Suit Gundam franchise. Others will put up a competitive game, like the ping-pong playing machine that can react to your best smash moves. Some, like the Qoobo moving ball of fur, are… well, they’re unique.
Here are six of the coolest, most remarkable robots on display.
Talking Haro Robot
You can soon own your personal version of Haro from Mobile Suit Gundam. The Gunshellju Haro communications robot was developed by Bandai Namco in conjunction with IBM Japan and VAIO. The 7.5-inch bot communicates with smartphones over Wi-fi and Bluetooth and is capable of holding conversations about Mobile Suit Gundam.
The robot will go on sale to the general public sometime next year, but price and release date are currently uncertain.
Ever wanted a cat, but without the maintenance, eyes, ears, or indeed any of the features that make it a cat? Qoobo, developed by Yukai Engineering, may seem like a weird prospect, but it’s actually designed to comfort senior citizens:
This little furball responds to touch and is set to hit retailers later this year for around $100.
This utterly terrifying machine will be good for anyone that wants a centipede the same size as their dog.
Omron Ping-Pong Robot
The FORPHEUS ping pong machine was demonstrated at CEATEC as far back as 2014, but the team has made a number of key adjustments to its latest version. Omron, the robot’s creators, hope to bring its technology to market by 2020.
“This machine now has the ability to react to a smash by observing the other player’s movement,” Masayuki Koizumi, head sensing technology research at Omron, told Phys.org. “We hope people with advanced ping pong skills will play with the machine.”
This little guy is designed for children, to help develop their senses by moving, talking and interacting.
The machine will roll around and ask its owner questions like, “Good morning! Did you have a good sleep?”
This little guy is built to effortlessly maneuver its way through a cone obstacle course with a tray of drinks. If you happen to live inside a driving school, or indeed anywhere else with obstacles on the floor, this will be ideal.
If you liked this article, check out this video of a wheeled robot that can jump 4 feet in the air.