Japan's Invention and Innovation Prize
The National Commendation for Invention, sponsored by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII),
was first held in 1919 as the Imperial Commendation for Invention, to honor inventors, practitioners of inventions,
and those who have made significant contributions to encourage invention.
The purpose of this program is to encourage and foster inventions and contribute to the improvement of
science and technology and the promotion of industry in Japan.
The Prime Minister's Award is the second highest award,
next to the Imperial Invention Award, and top out of nine special awards.
The Prime Minister Award
While many AI products on the market underline the "functional value", this robot was designed focusing on the "emotional value". It was created out of the desire to enrich people's lives by giving birth to an object of affection rather than a tool.
Various technology supports the underlying design theme "A Sense of Life". The combination of edge computing and cloud computing enable the robot to have its own personality. A variety of sensors are used to assess its surroundings and to approach a person. The latest actuators and AI are used to express its emotion with the entire body, including eye contact through face recognition using the built-in camera. Furthermore, the robot continuously evolves and grows by updating its features through LTE and Wi-Fi connections.
The 'circle' design motif encompasses the robot’s beauty and cuteness. The form is designed to reflect a puppy without specifying a particular breed, so that it can freely match its owners’ preferences and appear as their one and only companion.
In the future, it is expected that the "symbiosis of humans and robots" will become a social issue with the robotization of various things (IoT) and cars worldwide. The pursuit of convenience alone might cause problems with robots that exceed human capabilities, which is why ‘emotional value’ to understand the subtleties of human nature will become an important factor to drive the upcoming "industry in the age of living with robots". The AI communication robot is designed as the first step towards such a future.