PaPeRo is a personal Robot being developed by NEC Corporation. The small size and colourful design of PaPeRo is intended to appeal to both children and adults, with its face designed to look both friendly and nonthreatening.
Development began in 1997 with the first prototype R100, and in 2001 the name PaPeRo, which stands for “Partner-type-Personal-Robot” was adopted.
Human language can be recognised using speech recognition technology. Basically PaPeRo recognise approximately 200 words and it will increase accordingly when new functions are incorporated to PaPeRo.
PaPeRo uses latest speech synthesis technology and it can speak with natural and cute voice. When the surroundings are noisy or the sounds spoken to the PaPeRo are too loud or too soft, this is recognised and communicated to the user.
With built-in face detection, PaPeRo can locate people from the images on its CCD camera by means of image recognition technology. The facial identification system can discriminate among and memorise the faces of up to 30 people. By tracking a face that it has found, it can interact while always looking at the face. When it cannot see a face well or if the distance or location is not satisfactory, it will adjust the distance on its own or tell the person, “It’s too dark”.
React to Touch
Nine touch sensors are mounted on the head and the body of the robot to achieve various interaction with children from a wide range of ages, including infants. For example, PaPeRo become happy when you pet its head and PaPeRo tickles when you touch its belly.
When PaPeRo is not talking with people it engages in autonomous activities such as walking around the room at will or dancing on its own. Using its sensors such as cameras and ultrasonic sensors, PaPeRo can walk without colliding with objects on the floor.
When PaPeRo’s battery level drops, it look for its charging station and it docks from its back by itself. When its battery is charged, PaPeRo comes out from the charging station.