Need a Little Conversation? Sharp to Sell Talking Robot Vacuum Cleaner

It also has a camera to take pictures of areas that need cleaning.

Japanese electronics giant Sharp (IW 1000/120) said Tuesday it had created a robot vacuum cleaner capable of recognizing and responding to simple voice commands in several languages.

The Cocorobo understands dozens of phrases such as "good morning," "clean the room" and responds differently "depending on the cleaning situation," Sharp said in a statement.

It also will update owners on the battery level, when the dust collector needs emptying and even has a camera to take snaps of areas that need cleaning.

The robot speaks standard Japanese as well as English, Chinese and western Japan's Kansai dialect, used in areas around the city of Osaka where Sharp is based, the company said.

The company did not give the price of the new cleaner, which it will start selling in June, but Kyodo news agency said the model equipped with conversation and camera functions is to sell for about 130,000 yen (US$1,630).

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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