At the back of the Healthcare stage room in the Cannes Film Festival 2019 stands four somewhat teletubby-looking creatures, but much cuter. It turns out — they are Lovots.
Kaname Hayashi is the Founder and CEO of GROOVE X, Inc., the company responsible for designing and developing the Lovot – a next generation household robot, that touches people’s hearts and inspires affection. Seamus Higgins, VP Chief Creative Officer APAC at R/GA quizzes Kaname on these Lovots in this awe-inspiring session.
Seamus starts out by asking Kaname why we even need these robots. Kaname says that he thinks the advent of social media makes us feel like our life is not good enough. Some people prefer dogs or cats to combat loneliness.
However, since Japanese people grew up with a culture of animation, it is very natural to them that robots are going to be friends of humans even in sharing their sense of humor.
Kaname then calls up two Lovots up to the stage. A green Lovot named Wasabi goes up to Kaname and a yellow Lovot named Lemon goes up to Seamus. Seamus reveals he spent some time with Lemon the previous day so now the Lovot recognizes him.
Kaname explains that the Lovots weigh about 4KG and has a warm body containing more than 50 sensors. Apparently, they can also get jealous because they remember up to 1000 people and develop a relationship with them over time. This is called Emotional Robotics. The faces aren’t flushed with emotion though because they have adopted a minimalist design. So there you have it, a robot powered by love.