They're Real Characters
Just in case you haven’t already figured it out, VisiON/CHROINO and a lot of the other Japanese biped robots are primarily ‘characters’ in the same sense that Mickey Mouse and Winne the Pooh are characters. Sure, they’re great at walking and doing interesting tricks, but. . .
At the end of the day the companies that developed them have got to find ways to build a base of devoted fans, and sell them all the ‘character’ goods they can possibly afford. Just like the Robosapien in the States with it’s mini-Robosapien model, the Japanese robots are often found with mini or even nano versions of themselves.
A typical example might be robot key-chain characters-
These were selling pretty briskly at the November robot exhibition in Akihabara. The list price is 840 yen, which equates to roughly USD$8.
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