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Vacuum robot is trilingual, knows witty dialect

Tue, 05/08/2012 - 1:25am
The Associated Press

It looks just like iRobot's Roomba vacuuming machine, except the new circular roaming vacuum cleaner from Sharp Corp. is trilingual.

Cocorobo, which can also send photos taken from your home to your cell phone, says 36 phrases including "Long time no see" and "Hello," in Japanese, English and Chinese.

The Japanese electronics maker said Tuesday that the robot also speaks the Kansai dialect of southwestern Japan, which is widely viewed as more comical and witty than standard Japanese.

But its linguistic abilities are designed for fun, not for following complex orders or lengthy dialogue.

Cocorobo sells for 130,000 yen ($1,600) and goes on sale next month in Japan, and later in China and other Asian nations. Specific launch dates and other overseas sales plans were undecided.

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