Following the steps of Softbank, NTT DoCoMo and KDDI have also launched household robots as part of their efforts to boost revenues. The move is expected to ramp up the popularity of robots in Japan, according to Digitimes Research.
The popularity of household robots has begun to rise after Softbank launched its Pepper robot in June 2015 due largely to its competitive price, reasonable subscription rates and expandable functionality, said Digitimes Research.
While Softbank has been cooperating with Foxconn Electronics to roll out the Pepper, DoCoMo is teaming up with Japan-based toy maker Takaratomy to launch its OHaNAS household robot. The sheep-shaped OHaHAS recognizes simple words and gives appropriate responses in accordance with the contents of the conversation.
KDDI has not yet launched dialogue robots directly, but has committed equity investment in robot-maker Jibo, which has rolled out a household robot also named Jibo.
The Jibo features a LCD display andi s enabling to notify incoming message, send out message, take pictures, tell stories, and conduct dialogue and video conference, priced at JPY100,000 (US$816), Digitimes Research noted.