MJI CO., Ltd., funds totaling in 5.64 billion yen. ~Accelerating the global adoption of robots for commercial use~

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MJI CO., Ltd., funds totaling in 5.64 billion yen.
~Accelerating the global adoption of robots for commercial use~

MJI

MJI Co., Ltd., develops, manufactures and sells communication robots. We have raised funds totaling 564 million yen from the “Future Creation Fund” established by Sparks Group Co., Ltd.
Our robot “Tapia” learns the lifestyle of its user and aims to be a good companion, just like a friend or a family member. In addition, it has been introduced in various business settings and commercial applications such as in restaurants, hotels, and nursing care facilities.
In general our funds are applied to AI research and development as well as to internationalizing our marketing and sales efforts.

■Message from Tony Shu (President)
The majority of this funding will be invested in MJI’s Artificial Intelligence Team to accelerate the development of our robot’s in-house VDL (Vision Deep Learning) capabilities. In addition, we plan to assign funds to global business development, sales and marketing.
MJI’s mission is to make life more pleasant through robot companionship. Since its founding in July 2015, we have established development teams in 4 locations: in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. We believe that lifestyles of the near future will be defined by the introduction of robots into the household and our aim is to provide robots with an advanced AI that allows them to be suitable companions to their human owners.

■Message from Nagamori Tomohiro (Representative Director)
With this funding we will accelerate the development of our robot, Tapia. We will make efforts to make Tapia a better robot, bringing more enjoyment to your life through innovation.
Our global vision is to make human life more enjoyable through robot companionship.

■Message from Mr. Shuhei Abe (President of The Future Creation Fund Sparks Group Co., Ltd.)
Based on the investment of Toyota Motor Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and 19 other companies (as of the end of January 2017,) Sparks Group invests in artificial intelligence, robotics, and hydrogen energy technologies. We aim to create new industries in these three fields of technology for the realization of a better society.

Civilization as a whole is experiencing the dawn of a new technological paradigm, and we are confident that in the near future robots will become even more ubiquitous devices than present day smart phones. MJI, one of the top runners in this field, aims to move technology beyond traditional user interfaces to more natural interactions with a human-like machine intelligences. Our fund empathized with MJI’s vision and believes that MJI’s innovations will transform global technology and human resources as we now know them.

 

【Release of Tapia Development Kit and solution development】
We expect the release of the Tapia Development Kit (SDK) for developers to occur this summer, as the demand from developers in Japan and overseas is expected to increase rapidly. This will lead to the expansion of Tapia’s functionality and applications, and it is expected that Tapia’s sales will increase dramatically.
Information on the development kit will be announced on the MJI website as details are finalized.

タピアを用いたソリューション展開イメージ
[deployed as a robotic waiting staff at a restaurant]
[deployed as a IoT hub in a hotel room]
[deployed as a Multi-lingual tourist guide and receptionist]
[deployed as a Multi-lingual instructor in a classroom]

 

【About Tapia】

タピアとおばあちゃん

After a long day, Tapia will calm your heart with conversation and humor. Tapia’s video call brings you the smiles and voices of your far away loved ones. When you go out, Tapia will tell you the latest weather information. When you just want to relax, Tapia will play music to suit your mood. Tapia is more than a device, Tapia is a companion to your lifestyle.

【Overview of Tapia】
Tapia is a portable, household communication robot with a height of about 25 cm. Tapia is equipped with a camera, speaker, microphone, touch panel monitor, a built-in battery, and can use simcards as well as wifi signals for phone and Internet access . In addition to speech recognition, speech synthesis, and face recognition you can enjoy everyday conversation with Tapia. The response of the robot changes depending on the pace of the conversation and the content, as well as the robot’s own emotional status.