"Somebody's home for me, feels great"

Japanese company Gatebox has created a virtual home robot companion.

The projected 3D character is housed inside a glass tube and can converse with its owner. The companion can also be hooked up to your home network to assist in certain tasks such as turning on lights or controlling your vacuum cleaner.

Unsurprisingly the 3D character is a Japanese anime creation called Azuma Hikari, who even has her own website. She has two voices, personal hobbies, likes and dislikes and even dreams. Gatebox has classed her as the “first character”, which suggests there may be the option of more characters to interact with in the future.

A camera is mounted at the top of Azuma’s glass tube, ensuring that she can always see the person she is talking to. Additionally, there is a microphone, motion sensor, warmth and moisture sensors, luminance sensor and touch buttons.

She can continue to talk through the iOS or Android Gatebox app when the owner is not at home, allowing for tasks to be arranged for when you get home.

The unit is 22cm x 36cm x 52 cm and weighs 5kg, with a projector resolution of 1280 x 720. There are inbuilt stereo speakers with a headphone jack for private listening experiences.

The Gatebox unit is priced at 289,000 yen ($2,600). However, only Japanese language is supported at the moment. The companion is set to launch in December 2017.