NHK fee collectors may soon be replaced by armies of robot Domo-kuns.
Domo, or as he is typically called in Japan, Domo-kun (どーも くん Dōmo-kun) is that chocolate bar with a face-looking character that is the mascot of Japan’s public broadcaster NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). He was created in 1998 in order to commemorate the 10th anniversary of NHK-BS, which is the satellite broadcasting wing of NHK. Now, almost 20 years later, in 2017 NHK and a robotics company have teamed up to give this little brown mascot a very high-tech upgrade.
This new high-tech version of Domo-kun is a robot that measures 300 mm (11.8 in.) and weighs 1.2 kg (2.6 lb), so there’s no need to worry about Domo-kun enslaving humanity…. yet. Mainly robo-domo just likes to walk around and dance.
Robo-Domo made his big debut during the half time show at the 2017 ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest held in Tokyo last month (Aug. 27). During the big show it danced for the crowd as part of Tokyo Performance Domo (TPDomo), a special collaborative unit made up of the female group Tokyo Performance Doll and Robo-Domo himself.
Asratech Corp., a robot software development company that is part of the SoftBank group, helped in the planning of robo-Domo. They also provided the control system, which is called V-Sido OS, and programmed robo-Domo’s dance moves.
Check out a video of robo-Domo showing off what he can do below. Unfortunately, in the video he’s not accompanied by the girls from Tokyo Performance Doll.
If you really want to see robo-Domo bust a move with his idol posse, then you’re in luck because NHK will be broadcasting the 2017 ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest, in Japan at 10:05 a.m. on September 18. Outside of Japan the event will be broadcast on NHK World on November 11.