We have heard of the Android operating system being used to power all kinds of appliances that it was never designed for, such as TV set-top boxes, GPS navigators and even actual PCs. But putting Android into a robot has probably got to be a world's first, and this is exactly what Sanyo Home has done with the introduction of the Mirai SANZO, a dome-shaped Smart Home robot which is designed to help out with minimizing one's energy consumption at home.
Think that Android is already everywhere around you, from smartphones to tablets, and even set-top boxes and low-cost PCs? Well, leave it to the Japanese to outdo themselves once again by managing to cram the Android operating system into yet another appliance that it was never meant to be used on, while achieving yet another world's first in the process. Apparently, Sanyo Home has just announced the availability of what it calls a "Smart Home robot" which is designed to help home users minimize their energy consumption, and yes, you guessed it; it is powered by the same Android operating system that we are currently seeing on our smartphones and tablets.
According to Sanyo Home, the Smart Home robot, which is known as the Mirai SANZO, is meant to be sold as "part of an integrated smart home that Sanyo markets to 'families of the future' in Japan" and is supposed to be hooked up onto a home's local network. Once that is done, the users will be able to make use of the Mirai SANZO to remotely access and control various appliances that have been installed in their home. Apparently, this includes automatically filling the bathtub with water of the right temperature, turn the air conditioner on (or off), or even sending alerts to one's cell phone in the event of an emergency such as the fire alarm going off. Oh, and somewhere along the line, it can also be used as a central control hub that takes command over all of the aforementioned appliances and help users monitor their electricity consumption.
Sounds interesting? Well, the bad news is that the Mirai SANZO does not appear to be intended for sale anywhere outside of its domestic market, but what we do know is that the Japanese can expect to see the product pop up for sale on the retail shelves starting from today onwards. More importantly, no pricing for the Mirai Sanzo Smart Home robot has been revealed, and that Sanyo Home is apparently keeping a very tight lid on the specifics of the robot, such as the OS version currently in use, and whether it has an unlockable bootloader or not. Oh well, at least Sanyo did not attempt to fashion the Mirai SANZO off the Android mascot's likeness.