Meet Robi: The Interactive Robotic Companion that Speaks Singlish

Meet Robi: The Interactive Robotic Companion that Speaks Singlish
Robi by DeAgostini is a build-it-yourself robot that aims to bring families closer together

Singapore, 15 June 2016  Robi, possibly the first ever robot able to speak Singlish, arrived in Singapore today with the launch of the Robi online store. Robi is a fusion of sophisticated design and advanced Japanese technology that was designed to provide interactive companionship with the entire family. To provide an in-depth understanding of how Robi works, an educational magazine along with instructions and model parts, are delivered over the course of 70 issues. Families and robotic enthusiasts can look forward to assembling Robi with their own hands.

From 9 to 10 July, families can learn more about Robi’s emotive functions at a roadshow in Marina Square Shopping Mall. Professor Tomotaka Takahashi, the creator of Robi, and Yujin Kimura, Consumer Robotics Manager, will be on site to introduce Robi to visitors. To celebrate Robi’s debut in Singapore, there will be a special performance featuring 100 Robi robots in a synchronized dance. Building on the theme of “ASSEMBLE ROBI, UNITE A FAMILY”, the event will also provide opportunities for families to get acquainted with Robi through hands-on experiences at the interactive stations, and have their photos taken at a Robi-themed photo booth.  

Incorporating cutting-edge robotics technology from Japan, Robi has become the bestselling humanoid robot worldwide. He can communicate with users, even expressing emotion through the colour of his eyes. He can talk, sing, dance and control selected household appliances. He has an extensive vocabulary of more than 250 phrases, providing a deep level of interaction between humans and robots. The specially designed Singapore version of Robi has also been programmed to speak some Singlish phrases, as well as English and Chinese.

“I truly believe that artificial intelligence and the creation of responsive robots can bring tremendous benefits to people and society, and I dream of fostering closer relationships between robots and human beings. We’re excited to introduce Robi to Singapore, and hope to inspire the next generation of Singaporeans to harness technology to improve the lives of citizens and build stronger communities.” Professor Tomotaka Takahashi

Aside from providing assembly instructions, the magazine delivered each week will also include educational materials to teach children more about the field of robotics. Robi has also been designed so that no prior skills is needed by either adult or children to assemble. The only tool required is a screwdriver that comes along with the magazine. As digitization goes mainstream and becomes more advanced, the hands-on learning experience from building Robi will provide children with the opportunity to understand the basics of robotics technology.

As one of the world’s leading robotics scientists, Professor Takahashi created Robi exclusively for DeAgostini. His keen interest in robotics grew from a young age, when he patented his first invention while he was still a student, and founded Robo Garage – a robotics group based in Kyoto University - upon graduation. Professor Tomotaka is responsible for many key developments in robot design, bringing to life Kirobo, a 3.5m-tall earthquake rescue droid, and he has even put the world’s first humanoid robot astronaut in space in 2013.

Robi retails at $28.90 per issue and available at selected supermarkets, convenience stores, bookstores and newsstandsfrom 5 July onwards.

The first issue will be available at the promotional price of just $9.90. Customers who subscribe online will also have a promotional discount – More details can be found on the Robi online store,

Members of the public can visit the roadshow from 9 to 10 July at the Marina Square Shopping Mall.

Fans can stand a chance to win exclusive Robi merchandise with our #ROBIGRAM competition on Instagram and Facebook. #SGROBI

Kindly download the accompanying photos of Robi here:


Key Features and Functions of Robi:
·         Dimensions: Height: 34 cm – Weight: Approx. 1kg
·         Light-up LEDs: Built-in LEDs allow Robi’s eyes and mouth to respond to words and movement. His eyes can glow red, yellow, green and blue, while his mouth will glow red.
·         Speech-recognition Board: Robi has a sophisticated speech recognition board programmed to understand different phrases and reply appropriately. The Singapore version will be able to speak English, Chinese and Singlish.
·         Microcontroller Board: The high-performance microcontroller board controls important functions such as Robi’s motion and reactions.
·         Speaker: Robi’s chest includes a miniature speaker for his spoken responses.
·         Remote-control Module: Emits infrared signals like a remote control to operate compatible TV sets.
·         Motion Sensors: Robi’s motion sensors detect human presence and will turn his face in response to movement.
·         Servo Motors: Robi’s movements are controlled by a total of 20 servos. They use the Robi-servo command system to ensure smooth movement, and have simple, robust wiring connections.
·         Dual-purpose ‘Scarf’: Robi’s light-blue scarf functions as a convenient handle for lifting him without damage to his joints and internal wiring.
·         Timer: Robi can count down a specified number of minutes, and tell you when the time is up.
·         Cleaning: Robi can use his feet to polish a tabletop or hard floor surface.
·         Security Setting: Robi can be set to ask for a password and respond with an alert if he gets the wrong answer
·         Games: Robi knows how to play a variety of games, including ‘soccer’ and quizzes.
·         Battery Charging: When Robi’s batteries begin to run low, he says ‘I’m hungry’ to let you know. Then it’s time to turn on his charging seat, so Robi can start to recharge.

Robi is suitable for kids above the age of 6. Parental supervision is recommended for younger children as there are small parts.

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