ApriPoko may weigh a mere five pounds, but this voice-operated, talking robot functions as a universal remote for multiple home appliances and devices. Its creators, the researchers at Toshiba, exemplify Japan’s obsession for all things robotic, but ApriPoko has gone even one mechanical step further than other robots have gone before.

ApriPoko actually observes human behavior and asks questions in order to learn how to operate various remote controls.

ApriPoko has a memory triggered by sensors that are able to detect infrared rays emanating from the remote. Every time a human presses any button at all, it will ask from a chest-mounted speaker: “What did you just do?”

By answering the dear little devil, for example, “I just changed the channel on the television, this information is then committed to memory. The next time a user desires to change a channel, by simply telling ApriPoko, the appropriate IR signal is transmitted directly to the device.

ApriPoko is the third in the line of the personal robot type to come from Toshiba, following the ApriAlpha of 2003 and the ApriAttenda in 2005. Much cuter than its predecessors, ApriPoko may stand only 0.6 inches tall and 8.6 inches wide, but it can still hold its own with any remote when it comes to flipping channels.

Learning about behavior by asking questions and listening in its own special robotic way, ApriPoko is truly the world’s ultimate personalized universal remote.

To date, even two years after presentation as a prototype, Toshiba is still developing ApriPoko, and it is not yet ready for the consumer market.

Couch potatoes, be on alert and be ready for a couch and remote  battle to the finish.

ApriPoko is coming to your favorite sofa very soon.

What do YOU think about this?




M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry (http://www.ingestandimbibe.com) feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.