At the Robotics zone of CES, the world’s largest consumer trade show, this month in Las Vegas, Nevada, many visitors were stopped in their tracks by one booth in particular. After all, it was hard to resist 10 childlike humanoid robots who were waving their arms simultaneously at passers-by.
Walking closer to the iPal stage at the Consumer Electronics Show, you would start wondering if these pastel-colored robots were capable of doing some cute moves like those K-pop artist groups in their addictive choreographies.
Such sophisticated dance moves might be made available in future updates, but at present, these 105-meter-tall robots are not designed for showing off in the entertainment industry, but they serve as good play pals, teachers and security guards for toddlers in households and kindergartens, as well as serving the elderly.
The robot iPal is a super-user-friendly Android-powered humanoid product by AvatarMind, a China-based company, which allows even young children to control it with ease by tapping the tablet screen on its chest.
Storytelling, singing and dancing nursery rhymes and songs are easy jobs for iPal, who also loves children’s hugs or even tickling. Older children can start learning elementary programming by entering commands and seeing its moves instantly reflecting what they have programmed.
Perhaps the most welcome function for parents is the ability of remote-control iPal and monitor their children at home through its lenses.
The functioning of iPal’s digital camera is no different from a closed-circuit television camera, enabling parents to see whether their kids are working hard studying or being lazy and putting off their homework.