By Yoon Ja-young
Robots helping people with their daily lives is becoming a reality.
KT has launched “Kibot 2,” a smart robot nanny for babies and children providing diverse entertainment and multimedia content.
“I am glad to be with our customers to celebrate the launch of Kibot 2. I hope Kibot and our Smart Home Pad opens up an era of smart homes in 2012,” said Seo Yu-yeol, president of KT’s home business group.
KT held the launch ceremony and a Christmas party at Olleh Square at its headquarters in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul Thursday, inviting around 140 customers who made reservations to buy the robots.
“I hurriedly made a reservation upon hearing that Kibot 2 is being released, since I have neighbors who are quite satisfied with the original Kibot,” said Hwang Hye-jin, a housewife in Yangcheon-gu, western Seoul, who was at the event. “I expect it to help my children with their learning and nurture their emotional side.”
Kibot 2 is an updated version of the first Kibot, which won the 2011 Presidential Award for robots earlier this month, and one of KT’s ambitious projects designed to create a completely automated smart home.
Jointly developed by KT and iriver, the robot, 32 centimeters tall and weighing 3 kilograms, plays with and teaches children, helping parents take care of them.
Reflecting Korean parents’ enthusiasm for their children’s education, the robot has diverse educational features. It has huge content, with around 10,000 educational videos and books and around 600 applications, and is especially useful in studying English.
Based on the Android platform, it is equipped with a 1GHz CPU, 7-inch screen, beam projector, 5-megapixel camera and a voice recognition feature.
With the wide screen and beam projector, one can turn a home into a movie theater with the robot. It also doubles as a karaoke machine.
Parents can use it for monitoring the home by controlling Kibot 2 to move around while engaging in video calls with the children.
The users can instruct the robot to make facial expressions and 34 other actions, such as turning its head, talking, with the 140 words.
KT started taking reservations for the robot two weeks ago, and had 1,000 bookings in only 11 days.
At the launch ceremony, KT also held a toy donation event for underprivileged children.
The robot is priced at 681,000 won, and users are charged between 15,000 won to 25,000 won for services each month.
Anyone can try out Kibot 2 at Olleh Square as well as Olleh Avenue, Olleh Shop and Olleh Plaza outlets around the country.