Sanbot Nano

Amazon’s Alexa embodied in Sanbot Nano, the home assistant robot

Image credit: Qihan

Chinese tech company Qihan has unveiled Sanbot Nano, a small, domestic robot capable of ordering pizza, operating home appliances and monitoring the home.

The robot was revealed by Qihan Technology Company at IFA 2017 in Berlin, Europe’s biggest technology conference.

The Sanbot Nano comes equipped with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, smart home control and remote monitoring abilities. It is intended to help manage and secure households, taking on a role as an embodied virtual assistant.

The robot shares Alexa’s highly varied capabilities, such as ordering pizza or taxis, reading the weather forecast, turning on the television or playing music from Amazon Music.

It is also capable of pairing with various branded smart home devices, allowing for the distant control of thermostats and other home appliances, and can also live-stream video through its Q-Link App.

The robot can interact in English and German and it “faces” people when it speaks. It has an HD touch screen mounted in its head, which displays a youthful, cartoonish face.

It stands at just over 80cm tall and manoeuvres around a home environment using 50 sensors to avoid obstacles, as well as recognise people’s appearances and voices. It can charge itself automatically.

Previously, Qihan developed a smart humanoid robot called the Sanbot Elf, which was intended for business use, particularly in the health, retail, hospitality and education sectors. It was reportedly used by the tech-friendly Dubai police force to interview potential employees.

“With Sanbot Elf’s breakthrough growth in the retail, hospitality, public service and government industries, we are excited to introduce a robot for the home,” said Ryan Wu, CMO at Qihan, in a press statement. “Sanbot Nano’s customised capabilities will make every family feel like they have a personal assistant.”

The robot will be available commercially from October, at $2,800 (£2,176).

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