TOKYO (June 13, 2019) – YUKAI Engineering Inc., a Tokyo-based robotics startup known for creating robots that bring joy to life, and Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., today launched their collaborative parenting support service program that uses Yukai’s family robot, BOCCO, as the communication medium. Named “Makasete (Got your back) BOCCO,” the subscription program is designed to make it easier for parents to remotely talk with and monitor the activities of their young children at home via the BOCCO robot.
In Japan, many children stay home alone after school if their parents work or cannot be there for other reasons. The new program aims to alleviate working families’ problems, including their anxiety over their children spending time alone and the difficulty of keeping children’s schedules consistent. In “Makasete BOCCO,” the robot will read out lout a new audio book at the push of the nose button and greets the children each morning and night with such messages as, “Have you brushed your teeth yet? I hope you go to bed soon and have sweet dreams!”
The subscription fees are 480 Japanese yen (approximately $4.50 USD) per month and 5,760 Japanese yen ($54 USD) per year with 1,500 Japanese yen ($14 USD) for shipping and handling of the robot and sensors.
“We are very excited about this new service, which provides new content to subscribers periodically. We have many children’s favorite stories available, including ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes,’” said Yukai Engineering CEO Shunsuke Aoki. “Many users adore BOCCO and consider it as part of their families already. It’s our hope that the new program will make parents’ lives easier and their children’s days even brighter.”
YUKAI Engineering is a robotics startup that develops and sells products that make the world more “yukai” (fun) place to live. YUKAI’s award-winning products include Necomimi, a headband with fake cat ears that move in sync with the user’s brain waves (selected for Time magazine’s “The World’s 50 Best Innovations 2011” list), and BOCCO, a communication robot that keeps family members in touch with each other.