ALSOK's new advertising robot An9-PR is going on sale today. The new robot is a step away from the Japanese company's core themes of "reducing the burden of security guards" and "responding to labor shortages due to the aging society with fewer children", however the new robot's features sound quite compelling.
A 360 degree electronic billboard and three LCD touch screens as well as a voice announcement system allow to advertise products. The robot is equipped with face recognition and wireless connectivity, which also allows it to communicate with mobile phones. It is aware of its location, which means it can send you suitable coupons and other information to your mobile phone when you meet it in the cereal aisle. The robot's hands are equipped with a FeliCa smart card reader, the de facto smart card standard in Japan, paving the way for many integrated online services including electronic money. Finally, the package also includes an easy information management system to quickly update all advertising features from a remote PC.
As we've pointed out in a previous post, telepresence robots may be the next big thing and ALSOK is not taking any chances: In addition to its advertising features, An9-PR also includes live remote video and voice communication, allowing it to double as a promoter for supermarket food sampling or as a security guard.
ALSOK's three year sales target for this new robot is 50 units. The standard price for your An9-PR is set at 10,436,000 yen ($110,000).