Panasonic to Launch Nicobo Companion Robots in 2023 (Video)

As early as next spring, Panasonic intends tostart selling a companion robot that can move, but not move, but is ready to brighten up loneliness. The Nicobo model was already produced in a limited edition in 2021, and now large-scale production is coming.

Electronic pet size about 20cm smallsimilar to a robot in the usual sense, but is able to wag its tail, move its body or change its "facial expression" in response to human actions. He is able to make sounds or repeat words when talking to him, but, unlike the voice assistant, he cannot support even a simple conversation. The device is being promoted as an option for singles or as a low-maintenance "pet" for the elderly.

In 2021 as part of a crowdfunding campaignPanasonic sold 320 Nicobos in less than 7 hours. Deliveries began last spring, after which the manufacturer decided to organize a larger release in response to the favorable reaction of potential buyers.

Each copy cost the equivalent of $287 (according tothe current exchange rate of the yen against the dollar) during the crowdfunding campaign. Panasonic hasn't announced pricing for the high-volume version yet, but intends to make it cheaper than similar competitor models like Sony's Aibo robot dog or Sharp's Robohon robot. Aibo costs just over $1500, Robohon costs $935 before taxes.

Although the Japanese company Panasonic is the mostKnown for its televisions and consumer electronics, it is hard pressed in this field by competitors from China and South Korea. In addition, the once-famous Panasonic has almost lost young customers. Even in "native" Japan, only 53% of respondents aged 20 to 30 see Panasonic as a recognizable brand.

It is known that Panasonic intends to turn Nicobo into a source of permanent income. The robot will be sold with a subscription that allows, in particular, to store recorded conversations in the cloud.