In Japan, there’s a form of street marketing called “tissue kubari” where a person (usually a university student earning some extra cash) hands out packets of tissues with a small card advertising anything from manga coffee shops to beauty salons.
InterRobot Inc. is a Japanese company specializing in infotainment robots and kiosks, one of which is this tissue-dispensing robot nicknamed Mospeng-kun. The robot stands 120cm (4′) tall, weighs 80kg (176 lbs), and dutifully approaches a nearby person to offer them tissues with its hand. When the tissues are taken, it humbly thanks the person and looks for its next victim. The robot’s look and voice can be customized to order, and rented for 100,000 JPY for 5 days ($1,100 USD) or purchased for 2,500,000 JPY ($27,790 USD).
InterRobot’s Technological Adviser is Prof. Tomio Watanabe of Okayama Prefectural University, famous for his “Nodding Theory” which states that nodding and facial expression is crucial to human communication. The company has commercialized Prof. Watanabe’s research results, which can be seen in Kokoro’s I-FAIRY robot, Mitsubishi’s household robot Wakamaru, and SEGA Toys’ Hanappa Nodding Flower robot, and more. A couple of videos and some photos follow after the break.
Impress Robot Watch