Things didn't turn out so well for Mitsubishi's cute little Wakamaru house bot, which the company introduced in 2005. Initially expecting to sell 100 of the $14k+ bots, Mitsubishi received only a few dozen orders, and shipped even fewer, since certain customers with multi-story homes or no internet access wouldn't have gotten much mileage out of the yellow robot. Other problems further limited Wakamaru's acceptance in the home, like limited conversational abilities and lack of support for internet content beyond weather forecasts and email. People also expected Wakamaru to take over household duties like sweeping and cooking, and while the bot's heart is in the right place, he's not exactly handy with a broom. For now Mitsubishi is going to rent Wakamaru out to corporations, and is working on expanding arm functionality to allow for the carrying of drinks or newspapers, and to let him open doors. Teach him how to perform petty crime and spew cutesy catch phrases and we're sold. [Warning: subscription required]
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.