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Japanese Robot gets Ripped-Off by Chinese Company

24 June 2011 2 Comments

Separated at birth?

The two pictures above are not of the same model robot. To the left UNISROBO, a new robot by the Chinese company UNIS that debuted this year, and to the right is PaPeRo, a robot by NEC Corp which started development in 1997. I think I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that UNISROBO looks much too similar to PaPeRo for it to be a coincidence.

At first glance the major difference between the two is that UNISROBO has a LED screen in it’s chest, but that seems to be the only thing that UNISROBO has that the real McCoy doesn’t. A bit of investigation by robotics blog PlasticPals revealed that the impostor is missing quite a few features that PaPeRo has; stereoscopic CCD cameras that PaPeRo uses to see, ultrasonic sensors for obstacle detection while in motion and optimally positioned microphones for sound/voice detection (among other things). This lack of features makes the UNISROBO a lot more affordable, two models are expected to retail at $460 and $615 US, which is pretty cheap for a bot. It will be marketed as an “excellent home preschool robot” able to teach young children good manners and English.

What does PaPeRo’s creator NEC think about this? PlasticPals has contacted them and reports that “NEC says their marketing group is concerned and are considering their legal options.” I’m curious to see how this turns out. But don’t let this talk of potential lawsuits distress you, why not relax to the sweet sounds of PaPero singing at Digital Content Expo last year.

via: PlasticPals

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  • Anonymous

    you forgot the part that the China robot will blow up when it’s overused… which is pretty harmful considering that the children will spend quite a long amount of time with it… if they’re unaware of its danger…

  • Tell it to people

    Dear all

    We want to warn you for the company HIGHLANDSCOPE.
    This Asian/American company ripped us of for a lot of money!
    We ordered goods and only received half of it, and even that took much more time than promised first and not everything was as it should be. some things we defect.
    If you want, you can get all the info as we kept all emailing.
    We tried to keep contact with this company, trying to solve this issue, however the only thing we get back is ‘FUCKMAN SHIT!’.
    All different mail addresses answer in the same way but aren’t able to give us a supervisor contact.
    Therefor we advise you to think twice before ordering anything at Highlandscope!