Anime blogger and entrepreneur Danny Choo has announced that he is working on releasing a robotic doll dubbed the Smart Doll based on his character mascot, Mirai Suenaga. Originally posted as an April Fools joke, apparently the joke generated enough buzz for several robotics experts to join the cause.
According to Danny's post, the Smart Doll will contain: "about 24 servo motors, a CPU board, bluetooth and touch sensors." The initial production models will run off external power plugged into the back of the neck with future models currently conceptualized to be charged via a USB mobile battery.
Features currently planned include reactions to users who pat her head via touch sensors, an idle mode where the doll will look around and shift its body, dance to existing sequences made in the popular program Miku Miku Dance, move via Microsoft Kinect, and preprogrammed gestures and movement including Android and iOS remote control.
Currently as the doll is still in the development, there is no price; however, Danny has mentioned that the Smart Doll will be cheaper than the price of standard dolls on auction sites. I am assuming he is referring to Volk's Dollfie Dream line (which is probably also what the Smart Doll's exterior is based on) which normally sells for around $1000 with the more expensive dolls selling for $2000 on Yahoo Auction.
The first version of the prototype is expected to be completed by June and we'll do our best to get a hands on preview at Anime Expo in July where Danny is most likely to bring with him.