Robotics is an up-and-coming area of the IoT (Internet of Things). Companion or social robots in particular could change the way humans live in the relatively near future thanks to companies looking to make social robots an integral part of the smart home.

Alpha Smart Technologies,, one of the world’s largest developers of animation and toys, says it aims to be a gateway to the smart device market for children. It recently launched a $304 million initiative to develop a range of smart devices, including robots. By partnering with Blue Frog Robotics,, and Turing Robot,, two leading robot developers and manufacturers, Alpha says it plans to build China’s first “smart home ecosystem.” The company calls its $304 million initiative the “S Plan.”

As part of the partnership, Alpha has introduced two robots for children and their parents, including the Jett Companion Robot. Jett, powered by the Turing Robot’s operating system, is a companion robot for preschoolers based on a character from an animated series. Equipped with voice recognition, semantic analysis, emotion recognition, visual identification, and self-learning capabilities, Alpha says the robot can hear, see, and make decisions based on these inputs.

The company foresees a future smart home ecosystem built around smart robots. In fact, Chen Jingqing, CEO of Alpha Smart Technologies, says the ecosystem will encompass “education, animations, maternal-infant online stores, social networking, gaming, and other cornerstone industries, thereby transforming every home into an amusement park.”

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