It may look like an annoying children's toy, but the Mirai Sanzo is actually a pretty snazzy home automation robot. Well, an annoying-looking home automation robot in the shape of a ball with a smiling face.
Made by Sanyo Homes, the robot is part of an integrated smart home solution that Sanyo is marketing to “families of the future” in Japan. It runs a custom version of Android, complete with its own set of home-focused applications.
The Mirai Sanzo measures 22 cm in diameter, with a small touchscreen situated right on its body. Designed to function as a wireless home remote (it works over WiFi), you can use it to turn on the AC, switch the floor heating, fill up the tub with hot water and all the usual home automation duties (provided your house is wired for that).
While you can feed it commands from the onboard display, the robot also comes with speech recognition that lets you mouth off instructions. It can talk back too and supposedly even feels stuff (we're not sure how that part will work), showing its emotions by glowing in seven different colors.
Of course, the Mirai Sanzo only does everything in Japanese, so everyone else will have to wait for their own annoying-looking remote control robot ball. It should be available in Japan starting today.