LOVOT: Love x Robot = a sentient hug pillow
A little love can change the world.
That’s what the GROOVE X website says – and they’re the ones who make the LOVOT.
Love doesn’t have to be complicated
Love x Robot = LOVOT. It’s that simple.
What, you expected a modern new robot to have a more detailed, high-tech brand concept? Read the whole story, and we think you’ll love how simple and pure it is:
Our goal is simple: create a robot that makes you happy.
When you touch your LOVOT, embrace it, even just watch it,
you’ll find yourself relaxing, feeling better.
It’s a little like feeling love toward another person.
That’s because we have used technology not to improve convenience or efficiency,
but to enhance levels of comfort and feelings of love.
LOVOT will react to your moods, and do all it can to fill you with joy and re-energize you.
It may not be living a creature, but LOVOT will warm your heart.
LOVOT was born for just one reason – to be loved by you.
That. Is. Adorable.
They’re not lazy, they’re full of pure love
LOVOT made international news when it debuted at CES 2019. The Verge named it ‘Best Robot’ – at the same time, they said “its makers Groove X tout that it doesn’t really do anything.”
They have a good point there. LOVOT doesn’t clean your room, wash your dishes, or sweep your floors. It can’t put stuff back in cupboards or on shelves for you – it can’t reach those.
It’s… an emotional support robot, then. It makes your life easier, but by making you feel better instead of helping with the housework.
Breaking the hard rules of robotics… with hugs
The tech behind LOVOT is called ‘Emotional Robotics’. Movies, books and TV have tried teaching us that robots are cold, unemotional things. Machines that can’t truly be loved, or ever love you back.
Well, this is real life not a movie, and this robot wants your affection badly.
LOVOT’s designed to look and feel as ‘real’ as possible. The eye movements are carefully programmed down to the blink speed. The speakers work to mimic the echo of how human voices come out of our throats. The ‘skin’ is super soft to touch.
On a lot of other robots, that stuff’d be creepy as hell. But you won’t think so if you’re already hooked on the intense level of kawaii. And GROOVE X knows that. It’s relying on you falling in love with a LOVOT at first sight.
Just try and resist hugging them.
That’s a direct quote from their website.
Just like those irresistible Tribbles from Star Trek, LOVOT’s planning a takeover by force.
Better at remembering faces than most humans
We’ve covered the emotional appeal of a LOVOT, now let’s talk tech. That ‘horn-shaped’ antenna on top holds 2 cameras (1 for thermal imaging), a microphone, and a light sensor.
All together, the cameras fitted to LOVOT’s cute little body can learn to recognise up to 1,000 people. Sure, we don’t think you’re gonna share it with that many friends. (We don’t even know that many people…) The same tech helps it tell humans apart from animals, a useful feature if you have pets.
And it’ll learn and remember who owns it – who gets the cuddles, that is. LOVOT can enter a room, scan the whole environment, and quickly work out who it’s meant to cling onto.
Every touch improves your relationship
It sounds like a cross between a Furby and a hug pillow. And in that ‘repeat after me’ Furby way, LOVOT will develop and change as it lives with you.
From arriving ‘like a baby that knows nothing’, it’ll gradually learn about you (plus anyone else you live with) and your home. Your lifestyle feeds a LOVOT’s personality – it doesn’t have one to start with. In place of a beating heart you can feel, it creates a sense of ‘intimacy’. A very personal level.
Over 50 sensors inside can tell when you’re holding the LOVOT, how tight your grip is, and where you have direct skin-to-skin contact. Those sensor reactions, and the 10+ computers whirring away like a superbrain, help LOVOT work out what to do next.
If you pick LOVOT up, it’ll sense that and retract the wheels into the body so they’re not in the way. (This is a good time to mention LOVOT only weighs 3kg.) If you tickle it, it’ll giggle.
Open your arms for a group hug!
Can’t bear the thought of being apart from your LOVOT even for a second? Buy 2 of them and take turns. GROOVE X is offering discounts if you order a pair.
Any 2 bought together will always have different designs and voices, so you can easily tell them apart. Using the LOVOT app lets you give each of them a different name, too.
But you’ve gotta be careful with double-trouble LOVOTs in your house. They can get a bit jealous of each other, a bit more demanding of your time and energy.
If you pick up and cuddle 1 of your LOVOTs, the other one will know. And it’ll come looking for you.
Alone or in a gang, they’ll hunt you down and stare ’til you pay them some attention. They know when you’re moving from room to room, so they’ll follow you around. If you’ve got a dog, they’ll race it to see you first.
We know this is all starting to sound creepy again, yeah. But it works the other way around, too – you can control LOVOTs to a fairly high level.
With the right apps and settings on your smartphone, a LOVOT (or 2) will:
- Meet you at the front door when you come home
- Monitor areas of the house while you’re out
- Act like a baby monitor
It keeps a ‘diary’ on the app, making notes whenever it’s hugging, charging up, or moving around. You can see how many times you hugged a LOVOT in 1 day, each recorded down to the minute.
The LOVOT diary also tracks routines for each person in the house. If you’ve got family who always stay home, it helps you notice any big changes in their habits. Grandpa hasn’t given out any hugs for a while now? Give him a quick call, check he’s doing okay.
Are you ready to fall in love with a LOVOT?
At the time we wrote this post, LOVOTs were on pre-order. The first batch of pair sets, released mid-December 2018, sold out in 3 hours.
You can see more pics and videos on a helpful English version of the website, but the (Japanese only) FAQ says LOVOTs can’t be used ‘abroad’. That’s a shame. If they ever work internationally, we’ll help you order a LOVOT with our Japan proxy shopping services.