Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) has developed a portable tele-operated android, "Elfoid® P1." "Elfoid P1" combines the design for "Telenoid® R1" (announced Aug. 2010) with cellular phone communication technology. This innovative communication medium allows individuals in remote locations to converse in such a way that they feel each other's presence.
Cellular phones are constantly being improved in terms of their functionality. In particular, smart phones have received much attention due to superb interface designs; their use has grown in proportion to the richness of the functionality they offer. However, conversation-related functionality has not changed since the time cellular phones first became highly distributed: we must still rely on voice and sound in order to recognize others. A bold concept is required in order to reform traditional cellular phones and fashion a new communication medium.
The Elfoid we have currently developed is an innovative communication medium which conveys individuals' presence to remote locations using voice, appearance, touch, and motion. Its design --easily recognizable at first glance to be nothing but a human, capable of being interpreted equally as male or female, old or young-- and soft, pleasant-to-the-touch exterior have been implemented in cellular phone size. By combining voice-based conversation with appearance and touch capable of effectively communicate an individual's presence, the user of this technology can feel as if they were conversing in a natural fashion with someone directly in front of them. Furthermore, the developed system eventually departs from the button pressing approach now used in cellular phones, in favor of image and voice recognition technology, with the goal of realizing an interface which anyone can use. Just as the Internet and cellular phones has greatly affected our life styles, this new form of presence-conveying communication medium, Elfoid, will further change our lives in the near future.
The term Elfoid is a new term coined from a word "elf" and the Latin postfix -oides which indicates similarity, as Humanoid.
Elfoid P1's main characteristics are as follows: