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Pokémon‘s iconic Pikachu and popular Gundam mascot Haro are getting smarter, and ready to play with you. The Pikachu robot “HelloPika” was is heading to store shelves in Japan on August 4 as an interactive desk companion. The robot is pocket-sized that responds to conversations with “Pika!” and “Pikapi!” and also can display a variety of gestures.
Pikachu can sing, nod, laugh, and even attack with Thunderbolt. He’ll react with glowing cheeks or a giggle when touched. The robot’s arms are posable, so owners can have Pikachu hang out of their shirt pocket or go along for a ride in a backpack.
Currently, HelloPika is only planned for sale in Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. He costs 2,990 (US$30) and runs on two AAA batteries.
The Haro robot is more advanced than the HelloPika variety but that also comes with a much larger price point of 149,040 yen (US$1,352).
The Guncierge Haro communication robot debuted at the Ceatec Japan 2017 event last fall but will now be available for purchase for the public next month.
The robot’s artificial intelligence can recognize people’s voices and analyze conversation for meaning and intentions. Haro will search a database for the best responses and be able to interact and talk with people about topics related to Gundam.
Guncierge Haro has multi-colored LED lights in its eyes and mouth. The robot can sway in all directions so that it can continue to face the person it is interacting with. Guncierge Haro will also be able to connect to smartphones and Bluetooth-equipped devices such as external speakers and alarm clocks.
Haro will be on display at the Bandai booth at this year’s Tokyo Toy Show running from June 7-10 at Tokyo Big Sight.
Disclosure: Bandai Namco Rights Marketing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.