Wakamaru Has Its Own Robot Blog
Wakamaru, the bright school bus yellow robot that captured so much visitor attention at the recent Aichi Expo in Japan, has its own blog. The latest blog entries include feedback from visitors to the three Wakamaru Galleries in Tokyo along with comments from the first customer to actually buy one, plus an interview with Onishi-san, the project leader for Wakamaru's design and development.
The Wakamaru business team is obviously going all out to promote the robot for use in the home, and it seems to be working, or at least getting a lot of press coverage. There are Wakamaru Galleries in the Marunouchi, Shinagawa, and Shinjuku sections of Tokyo - a significant investment that indicates they are extremely serious.
It's also obvious that they are trying to project a warm, friendly image of trusted family member or household servant for Wakamaru. The robot's tag-line is "My Home Robot", and the Flash animation introduction on the Japanese website shows images of Wakamaru holding hands, smiling, posing with kids and with Grandma.
Following typical Japanese marketing conventions, all of the humans that appear with Wakamaru in the introduction appear to be Western with the single exception of one young girl. This might seem odd since the intro is obviously targeted at Japanese consumers, but it is a very common, almost pervasive advertising strategy here.
The English language version of the website, while it does reference "Life with a Robot", tends to focus primarily on the technology involved.
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