At CEATEC Japan 2005, Hitachi displayed a voice-operated prototype Mascot Robot (nicknamed Bot-chan), an intelligent user interface for AV equipment. Standard remotes are not necessarily the best interface for the growing number of television channels, their programs, and the ability to record and watch content on demand (TiVo). Remotes have become increasingly complex as a result, only complicating things further.
Hitachi developed the Mascot Robot for quick and easy access to content through speech recognition, speech synthesis, image recognition, and text analysis technology. The robot analyzes the user’s viewing history to effectively alert you when a show is on, record your favorites, and recommend shows you might enjoy. Simply tell the robot (which can hear you from up to 2 meters away) what you’re looking for and it can find it for you.
Besides its cute voice, the animated eyes on its LCD display and the robot’s “rabbit ears” can move to help express the robot’s “emotions”.