This may look like an ordinary stuffed bear, but what we have here is the convergence of at least three wildly popular Japanese trends – cuteness, robots, and completely useless technology. Meet Japan’s robotics firm iXs Research‘s latest product, the teddy bear navigation system.
It may bear (har har) a striking resemblance to Teddy from A.I., but its main purpose, like any navi system, is to guide you to your destination via polite auditory direction. However, because it has the added bonus of arms, it can gesture and point too. A built-in alcohol sniffer will even prompt it to ask, “You haven’t been drinking, have you?” if it detects an excessive amount of sake on your breath.
Unfortunately, Teddy has a dark side. It also has sensors that look for heavy braking and acceleration, prompting the otherwise adorable sidekick to shout, “Watch out!” should you decide to hoon it up a little. What a buzzkill.
We’re not entirely sold on the idea of a nagging fuzzball riding shotgun, but we’d be more tempted if the bear had a Garage Mode that could fetch the proper tool and bring it to you while you’re under the car. iXs Research says they’re working on making the overall package even smaller, and plan to offer it in several different bodies when it goes on sale next year.