Osaka City has two new public relations mascots thanks to local robotics ventures. At left is Daichan (ATR/Vstone’s Robovie-R3), which is meant to represent “Water Metropolis Osaka” with the appearance of its flowing blue dress. According to the official press release, Daichan is 108cm (3’7″) tall, weighs 35kg (77 lbs), and loves takoyaki (deep-fried octopus dumplings). It can move in 360 degrees and greet people with voice and gesture.
On the right is Hansan (Eager’s D+ropop), which is made mostly from recycled cardboard. It stands 163cm (5’4″) tall, weighs only 8kg (17 lbs) thanks to its light materials, but is weak against moisture and fire as a result. It comes with a small camera (on its chest) to recognize when people stand in front of it, can repeat canned phrases, and will display products developed by local companies on its small screen.
The companies that build the robots are part of a local robotics network called Robot Laboratory and RooBo. As you may be aware Japanese cities and institutions love to promote themselves with cute mascots, but this takes things to a whole new level. It’s a perfect job for a robot, since they tend to attract attention where ever they find themselves.