Ghost in the Shell S.A.C.'s 1/8-Scale Tachikoma Smart Toys Synchronize via Cloud

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Anime News Network's merchandise coverage sponsored by Tokyo Otaku Mode.

Connected hardware developer Cerevo announced on Thursday that it will release a 1/8-scale "smart toy" of the Tachikoma from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex anime. The company began streaming a promotional video for the model on Thursday.

The model recreates the spider-like Tachikoma robots with artificial intelligence that appear in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex television anime series and Masamune Shirow's original Ghost in the Shell manga. The release is the second part of Cerevo's "S2R (From screen to the real world" project that creates real-world versions of devices depicted in anime, video games, and films. Cerevo released a Psycho-Pass Dominator that can connect with smartphones last year.

The Tachikoma model is the first widely released Ghost in the Shell product that can electronically move each joint, pod, manipulator, and wheel. The smart toy is equipped with 21 motors, and it can move autonomously depending on its conversations with users. The Tachikoma can move its legs, arms, pod, image sensors, and other parts. Users can also use their smartphones to remotely control the Tachikoma's movements and use commands to influence the model's attitude and behavior.

Sakiko Tamagawa, who voiced the Tachikoma in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex television and video anime, made 600 voice recordings for the smart toy. In order to make any response possible in theory, as in the original works, developers used voice recognition and voice synthesis engines to combine Tamagawa's recordings. The Tachikoma can recognize speech and make suitable replies in Tamagawa's voice. The smart toy will support both Japanese and English as input languages (via text or speech) and use Japanese as the output language (via text or speech).

The Tachikoma model can connect to the Internet to provide weather forecasts and tell users their Google Calendar schedules. Users can ask the Tachikoma "What is...?," and the smart toy will search the Internet and send the answer to a smartphone.

In the original manga and anime, the Tachikomas synchronize with each other every night so that they again collectively share the same memories every morning. Similarly, the model Tachikoma connects to a cloud via Wi-Fi to use stored data and recognize objects users show it. The Tachikoma models collect information from different users and transfer the information to the cloud. All 1/8-scale Tachikomas will then share that information.

The Tachikoma costs 157,400 yen (about US$1,417), and Cerevo began accepting preorders on Thursday. The English version of the Cerevo Official Store is offering the smart toy's standard edition for US$1,799.

The Special Edition version will have aluminum parts for the bumpers, gun barrel covers, and other parts. The Special Edition costs 177,400 yen (US$1,597) on the Japanese version of Cerevo's online store and US$1,999 on the English site.

Both versions of the smart toy will ship in June.

The developers demonstrated the Tachikoma at the Sensors Ignition 2017 event on Thursday. Exhibits for the model will also appear in Tokyo at AnimeJapan 2017 on Saturday and Sunday, and in Fukuoka at the "Manga VS Real ~ Fukuoka IoT Gannen xcross fm" event on March 31.

The Ghost in the Shell Realize Project also debuted its half-size Tachikoma robot in Tokyo in December.

Thanks to Gwyn Campbell for the tip

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