The pocket-sized robot phone you've been waiting for arrives soon—in Japan.
Sharp this week announced that its RoboHon device launches May 26, but it's pricey at just over $1,800. There's no word on whether the adorable accessory will arrives stateside.
Standing at 8 inches tall, with a 2-inch screen on its back and a camera in its face, RoboHon was built to resemble a human (with moving appendages), and serves as a digital assistant, friend, and communication device.
Like any smartphone, it makes phone calls, sends and receives emails, downloads apps, snaps photos, understands voice commands, and plays music and games. But RoboHon can also walk, sit down, stand up, and even dance. Plus, it identifies people by facial recognition and can project photos and videos.
Developed by roboticist Tomotaka Takahashi, Sharp's cell phone aims to build a bond with its user—a feeling many people have already developed with their iDevice or Android handset.
Sharp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Softbank's Pepper robots are are on sale in Japan. Unveiled in June 2014, the droid comes with a 10.1-inch touch display to monitor emotions via changing colors and movements, as well as voice- and emotion-recognition technology, enabling human-to-humanoid communications. It also makes gestures like an arm wave or head nod.
Those features help Pepper in the real world: A handful of the robots staffed a Tokyo cell phone store this spring, helping customers and making sales.