New robo-teddy with built-in drunk driving prevention and navigation system

Japanese robotics company iXs Research Corp. unveiled a new robot with a built-in car navigation system, which is also able to scold drivers wanting to drive while drunk. The robot comes in the shape of a teddy bear. It is 1 foot tall and can move its arms and legs when giving directions. The bear is equipped with sensors for light, touch, alcohol and accelaration.

Besides being able to navigate the driver through Japanese traffic, the bear is able to comment on his or her driving style. Sudden stops, for example, will result in reactions such as “Be careful, please!”. The bear can also detect alcohol and then asks “You had some alcohol, right?”. Stroking the head will motivate the bear to give information about nearby landmarks.

iXs demonstrated the robo-teddy in a press conference in Tokyo on June 3rd. The company aims at commercializing their new invention as early as next year. It is also planned to offer different characters, shapes and sizes of the robot. The company said it will try to sell the technology as cheaply as possible.

Because iXs is using a patent from Fujitsu, the company agreed on exclusively using car navigation technology from Fujitsu Ten for the teddy robot and its future variations.

Via Impress [JP]