This might be a "robot reborn" story, or it could be a case of "separated at birth", at this point we're not exactly sure what's going on under the covers. Nevertheless, it seems that Pepsi Japan is trying to capitalize on the popularity of robots here in Japan, especially biped robots. They're doing a special promotion offering 21 fully functional NEX Boy robots that bear a striking resemblance to both MANOI and CHROINO . . .
Of course it's hard to tell from website images, but if we were pressed we would have to bet that the Pepsi NEX robot is actually a special version of MANOI and/or CHROINO.
Both of the robots were developed by Tomotaka Takahashi at Kyoto University's Robo Garage. CHROINO was originally promoted as a prototype or proof of concept, and has yet to go into actual production, though they are actively selling CHROINO character goods like telephone straps and robot trading cards similar to baseball trading cards.
The MANOI design, also from Takahashi-san, is being commercialized by Kyosho and is expected to reach store shelves here in Japan in June.
Here's what the three robots look like shoulder to shoulder:
NEX BOY, CHROINO, MANOI
What do you think?
The Pepsi Japan promotion features 21 of the bipedal robots,
and yes, we already entered!
CHROINO website (English)
MANOI website (Japanese)
Pepsi Japan NEX Promotion (Japanese)