Asia Pacific Telecom Co (亞太電信), a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), yesterday launched a new companion robot aimed primarily for children, targeting a market beyond commercial robots like Pepper.
The new “Kebbi” robot is manufactured by Hon Hai and designed by artificial intelligence (AI) robotics start-up Nuwa Robotics (Hong Kong) Ltd (女媧).
Hon Hai joined Nuwa’s second-round funding by investing US$35 million, giving it a 9 percent share of the start-up.
Photo: Wang Yi-hung, Taipei Times
The care-giving robot is able to play and chat with children, Nuwa said.
With a facial recognition feature, Kebbi can identify about 400 objects, the company said.
It can also be programmed to work as a tutor, helping young students and preschoolers study and practice English, it said.
“Some kindergartens have shown a strong interest in Kebbi. Local libraries are also keen on the robot and have ordered six,” Asia Pacific Telecom president Huang Nan-ren (黃南仁) told reporters at a media briefing in Taipei.
The company’s ultimate aim is to have a Kebbi robot in all Taiwanese households, Huang said.
Taiwan has about 7 million to 8 million households.
Pepper, the humanoid robot designed by Softbank Group Corp, targets the commercial market, Huang said.
It is designed to entertain people at commercial venues, such as shopping malls, banks and railway stations, rather than for households, he said.
With a price tag of NT$12,900, Kebbi robots will be available from Oct. 16, Asia Pacific Telecom said.
Mobile users can get the robot for NT$990 through a 30-month data service contract with Asia Pacific Telecom at a minimum fee of NT$996 a month.
Kebbi was launched in the Chinese market in the middle of June on the Web site of Xiaomi Corp (小米) under a different name, Nuwa founder and chief executive officer Leo Guo (郭柳宗) said.
It is called “Danny” in China, he said, adding that the company sold 1,000 Danny robots within 24 hours of the launch.
Xiaomi is one of the first angel investors in Nuwa, injecting 15 million yuan (US$2.18 million) in the start-up, Guo said.
Nuwa plans to start a third-round funding after raising US$12 million in the first and second rounds, he said.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
ELECTRIC FARMLAND: TSMC’s proposal to clear 230 hectares of reforested land for what would become Taiwan’s largest photovoltaic solar farm has generated concerns New rules curbing solar farms built on agricultural land sparked fierce debate at a packed public hearing at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, with industry representatives saying that the new restrictions would endanger President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) green energy goals, while agricultural officials emphasized the importance of protecting farmers and the environment. The Tsai administration has set a target to generate 20 percent of the nation’s power from renewable sources by 2025, by which time it also aims to install 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power, including 6GW from rooftop solar systems and 14GW from ground-mounted solar farms. Although rooftop solar systems are
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees