Sharp offers robotic smartphone guides to Japan tourists

Published on : Thursday, March 23, 2017

SharpSharp is targeting foreign tourists rushing to Japan.


This electronics brand is all geared up to offer tourists unique ‘Robohon’ humanoid robot smartphones that would be available for rent and it would talk and dance. This would be made possible thanks to collaboration with its partners.


Keikyu, a railway operator is planning to rent out the robot phones at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport starting from 25th April, as declared by Sharp on Wednesday.


The fees would start at 1,500 yen, that is $13 before tax for about 24 hours. The users would require a separate mobile Wi-Fi router to connect the robot to the internet and this device is also available on rent.


Keikyu and Sharp would be providing about 20 units to start with. They are certain that there would be 800 rentals every year.


Robohon is able to interact with users in English and Chinese. Apart from this, tourists would be capable of clicking pictures with the internal camera and also leverage its hospitality features to obtain information about different locations. This includes approximately 30 spots in areas like the Shibuya neighborhoods of Tokyo and Asakusa.


And, this appliance can also serve as a perfect virtual tour guide.


Four companies play a crucial role in the rental venture. Shrap has decided to sell the Robohon units to Keikyu that would operate the rental service and also promote it by selling merchandise. Vision, the Tokyo company that rents Wi-Fi routers to foreign visitors in travel hubs would be involved in operations. Fubright Communications, a Tokyo-based software developer that has also served SoftBank Group’s humanoid robot Pepper has offered Robohon’s hospitality programming.


Sharph, has, in the past, insisted on on-house technology for its special services including  its Zaurus line of personal digital assistants.


Miho Kagei, the person who had helped develop Robohon confessed that they currently do not have any expert know-how of rental operations with regard to such a technology.  Therefore, Sharp would welcome a little assistance from the other companies involved in this initiative.


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