Personal Robot Pet for Kidult

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Product Design1

“Personal Robot Pet for Kidult”

There has been a dynamic development in technology and consumers have become capable of enjoying their leisure time in various ways. As a result, they have started to invest in enjoying their current life by pursuing pleasure through playing and engaging in other interests rather than serious matters, often without being concerned about others and what they think.
This trend, which emphasizes play and interest attraction, is influencing new services and products as well as every other aspect of life including advertisements and movies. Nothing uninteresting attracts consumers. That means that the entertaining factor is essential but is no longer the only consideration nowadays. The Kidult is the major group with this consuming tendency.

The entertainment industry is a complex of cutting-edge technologies that will lead to the further development of technology once it is popularized. Video games, among existing entertainment industries, have been developing electronics and computer science since its beginning in 1972 in the US. Even today, it comprises the largest share of the entertainment industry. Thus, the entertainment industry, which stimulates the interest of the people, which is their natural characteristic, may have a much larger implication than the others.

The entertainment robot has been designed for such an entertainment factor.
It was launched spectacularly, gaining the attraction of many people but their interest did not last long very much. Even the Sony Aibo, which heralded the start of personal entertainment robots in 1999 and became the icon of that field, has stopped production due to a lack of profitability in 2006. Since then, no other interesting products have been launched yet.

The fundamental problem, along with the technological and cost problems, is the limited entertaining factor of such robots. The high-price and cutting-edge products with face, voice recognition and conversation capabilities do not attract users for long. At first, users become interested in it but quickly lose fascination after getting used to its limited functions.

Various aspects of robot technology do not satisfy the expectations of the users, therefore, robots need to provide more values apart from technology.
In this light, this study has been conducted to propose a new type of toy-robot in which the interests of the kidult, the new pivot of culture, have been added to the personal robot, which had been difficult to commercialize due to such limitations despite its very large potential.
Norman has announced that all products will become intelligent and robotized. In fact, many aspects of toys and robots are already sharing the same technology.

In line with all these, I have attempted to provide new pleasure for the user through motion and interaction apart from the static aspects of previous kidult toys involving collecting and plain viewing.

In aiming to do so, the definition, background, characteristics of the kidult and the overall aspects of robot have been reviewed.

In addition to all those, I have investigated about the external design that would suit the kidult, and the internal structure of the robot, for its various motions, all the while trying to find harmony and balance between them.

Furthermore, an open-source hardware, which is currently being used, widely, has been applied to ensure the product’s sustainability in coping with technological development.