Sharp's adorable new robots want to groove their way into your smart home

They'll even double as a smart camera

Meet Sharp's groovy smart home bots

In our hotlist of predictions for 2019, we forecasted the rise of robots in the home. Thanks to Sharp, our soothsaying appears to be accurate, with the company announcing a new generation of its RoBoHon bots.

The little robots now come in an LTE, Wi-Fi and, err, sitting version. The last of those is a little cheaper but at the cost of the use of its legs. That one's more focused on children, but all three robots will be able to perform a host of tricks, from controlling smart home devices to dancing and grooving (yes, even the seated one can bust some moves).

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The bots come loaded with a bunch of apps (Sharp says it will be adding more, taking the total from 30 to 46 apps) including some that will let children create sequences of commands.

For an additional monthly cost, the robots can also act as smart home cameras, letting users remotely view their home through the bot's eyes. According to Engadget Japan, the robots will soon be able to control smart home devices too including Sharp's Aquos Android TVs and smart air conditioners.

Sharp's also pitching RoBoHon as a device for businesses, museums and showrooms, where the robot can act as a customer assistant of sorts.

Despite its size the RoBoHon doesn't come cheap, starting at 79,000 yen (about $715) for the seated version and moving up to 180,000 (about $1,628) if you want the LTE model. There's also a monthly subscription fee of 980 yen (about $9). The bots are currently only on sale in Japan, and will be available 27 February.

While there's no word yet on a wider release, Sony's latest Aibo dog did make its way to the US last year, so here's hoping Sharp follows.


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