Bizarre Japanese billionaire is now betting that ’emotional’ robots can cure you

In her online application for love, Maizawa, who was 44 at the time, said she hoped finding a partner would reduce her “feelings of loneliness and emptiness”. A few months later, however, he abruptly stopped searching for a romantic partner for unspecified personal reasons.

Now, it looks like Maizawa is betting the robots might be able to meet A hole in one’s heart

The bizarre billionaire, who made his fortune through the Japanese e-commerce fashion site Jojotown, announced last month that his investment Buying funds Japanese robotics startup Groove X, which makes a product called Lavat, is a combination of the words “love” and “robot”. The terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The pet-sized companion robots aim to awaken a “love-making instinct” among its human customers, according to the company’s website, in potential use in nursing homes and with children. As the epidemic spreads, so-called “emotional” robots have found new ways to provide companionship. Those who are forced to be different from others, according to the company.

Wide-eyed devices rotate on wheels and have more than 50 sensors to respond to human stimuli (which It is separated by a thermal camera) through machine learning technology, according to the company. The robot is currently only available for sale in Japan. Prices for a single device start at 2,825, and a monthly service fee of around $ 80.

Groove X was founded in 2015 by CEO Kaname Hayashi, a SoftBank veteran who created the Humanoid Robot Paper. The firm has received funding from the Japanese government and unveiled its first Lovot device in the local market in 2019. These robots do not want to provide any benefit or practical purpose In fact, the company has previously described it as “not a useful robot.” The robot was “born for just one reason – to love you,” the company said.
“I never imagined a robot would heal me,” Maizawa said in a statement announcing the acquisition of Grove X from his fund. Although the robot “can’t clean or work,” Maizawa said he “sees great potential in an appearance that can make people happy, especially at this time.” Indicates the global Covid-19 epidemic.
Pictured here is an employee holding a lovet robot in a cafe in Kawasaki, Japan on December 20, 2020.

In a statement announcing the sale Holdings of Groove XA in the Maizawa Fund, Japan’s Innovation Network Corporation, a state-funded investment vehicle for Japanese technology companies, noted that Lovot devices have attracted “significant attention” from the perspective of “mental health care in the coronavirus epidemic”. It has also seen an increase in “use” in nursing care facilities.

Maizawa expressed hope in his statement that Groove X could soon begin delivering its robots outside of Japan. GrooveX declined to make Mayazawa or anyone else available for interview, citing schedule reasons.

It may seem like something outside of science fiction, but something Researchers say that robots are more likely to be companions of loved ones.

Diners interact with the Lovot robot at a cafe in Kawasaki, Japan on December 20, 2020.

Kate Darling, a personal robotics research specialist at the Massachusetts Institute, said “there is a lot of research on human-robot interactions that shows that people can develop real emotional attachment to robots and that this is something that can be intentionally encouraged through design.” Technology Media Lab, told CNN Business.

“We are very related animals,” Darling said. “I have no doubt that humans will and will be emotionally related to robots in the future.”

Darling notes that social robots – or robots that are deliberately designed to engage people on a socio-emotional level – have not yet begun to make inroads in the United States. “But I think it’s just a matter of time, and obviously that’s what these companies do,” he added.

Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. The boy and his company Softbank (SFTBF) It’s been years since the humanoid robot paper, created by the founder of Groove X, came out. But last year, Softbank said it had stopped pepper production due to a lack of demand.

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