The Xperia Agent isn’t new, having first been spotted on show floors since MWC 2016. But we’re getting a taste of its expanded repertoire of tricks.
The head with two blinky eyes sits on top of a body with a screen that can display additional information about the robot’s task at hand. It tilts its heads and blinks its eyes to convey emotion. It’s limited in its range of motions but the same can’t be said for the emotions it will induce in you.
A demo showed off its personality as it spun around almost in a panic looking for the Sony executive it recognises when a Skype call came in. There was also a slight faux pas when it greeted an Asian woman hello in Japanese. Although clearly charmed by the Xperia Agent, she clarified that she’s not Japanese.
During the Skype call, the Agent’s screen-body played the video from the call. We were told that the little robot is capable of recognising individual faces so it’s able to remind the right people when notifications come in.
Like LG’s Hub Robot, it can control your home’s other smart devices. During the demo, it switched on the TV, brought up photos on its screen-belly and then cast them onto the TV, and also played some music on the speaker which it also bopped to.
In today's highly advanced robot world, a robot assistant like this being able to understand commands is no surprise. What's surprising were the little nuances in its movements, a celebratory nod upon accomplishment of a task or the panic it seemed to be in whirling around to find the right recipient of the call. Now, that's truly clever.
Unlike the Alexa-powered Hub Robot, it will use Sony’s own voice recognition tech. Unfortunately, we have no way of testing it out since it’s still a concept with no word on availability anytime soon.
However, until it becomes reality, we'd like to suggest a name change. It’s probably a crime to label something this cute with such a menacing moniker...or is there more to it than meets the eye?