PaPeRo (short for “Partner-type Personal Robot”) is an adorable personal-companion robot, created by the Japanese technology company NEC. PaPeRo was designed as a more natural way for people to interact with the Internet–it can recognize and speak over 3000 words, notify its owner of incoming messages, give updated information, recognize faces, send video messages, dance, play games, and remotely control other electronic devices.
PaPeRo features two cameras for eyes, four microphones for ears, an ultrasound device in its chest for detecting objects, and three wheels for mobility. PaPeRo also learns from its environment, and has a number of different “personalities” that come out depending on how people treat it. For example, if people ignore it and don’t interact with it, PaPeRo will become lazy and listless–but if people talk to it and answer its questions, it will be helpful and serious about doing its job. PaPeRo is currently in prototype mode and is not available for sale.