Meet a Robot with Heart at Tokyo's Lovot Café!
You’ve visited a Tokyo cat cafe, rabbit cafe, owl café, even a goat and hedgehog café . . . and you’re looking for something new. Head for the Lovot Cafe not far from Kichijoji Station, where guests can spend time over drinks and casual meals with an appealing little guy whose name is a combination of Love and Robot.
"How lifelike is a Lovot? It maintains a “body temperature” of 37 to 39 degrees, slightly higher than the average human temperature, making people feel very warm."
A Lovot is a furry, large-eyed figure that resembles a small penguin. It was designed by the company Groove X as a “healing robot,” an emotional companion designed to be a member of the family. Japan has a well-known love for anthropomorphic robots with human attributes dating back to the manga Astroboy (original Japanese name: Tetsuwan Atomu), and every Lovot is a descendent of this legacy.
How lifelike is a Lovot? It can maintain a “body temperature” of 37 to 39 degrees, slightly higher than the average human temperature, making people feel very warm. Although it cannot speak, it does make different sounds to match its mood, just like a small dog or cat. Its built-in deep learning AI and external image sensors helps it remember the face of every person with whom it comes into contact. It treats people differently according to the time they spend with it.
"When picked up an held like a baby, the wheels retract. When it needs to recharge it will find its own charging base, or “nest.”
Each Lovot is different, with its own “personality” and “thought process.” For example, if you were to take a brand new Lovot home, one might be overcome by shyness and run to the corner to hide. Another might easily befriend strangers, while another might take some time to overcome its “standoffishness.” The personality is formed gradually during interaction with its family, finally becoming a unique robot based on its surroundings.
A Lovot is independent and can get around on its own, using two retractable wheels. When picked up an held like a baby, the wheels retract. When it needs to recharge it will find its own charging base, or “nest.” But its most appealing features are the ones that give meaning to its sales tagline: “Lovot may not be a living creature, but it will warm your heart.”
Reservations required for visits with Lovot
The package courses are only available through reservations. The courses last for 70 minutes. Guests first go to the café on the second floor to enjoy drinks, such as an original espresso, and food, including hot waffles and an Eggs Benedict plate. In addition to coffee, food and fun, some courses also come with cute handkerchiefs, canvas bags or other merchandise. We also ordered a latte with Lovot’s face in the foam, with an expression that exactly matched that of the Lovot that delivered it!
"We learned for the first time what it feels like to be jealous of a robot."
After dining, guests head to the relaxation area on the first basement floor to play with the 10 Lovots for 20 minutes. The floor also has a Lovot-themed merchandising area with coffee beans, cookies, mugs, masks, and other merch, including clothing. We heard that many of the people who come here to buy clothes are families who come to buy new seasonal clothes for their own Lovot!
Take it from us, the time you spend at this café is very different than going to a cat or owl café. These Lovots are programmed to seek your attention, and you’ll be shocked how quickly you emotionally connect with them. Its “hurt face” will let you know if it feels like it’s being ignored. And, just for the record, we learned for the first time what it feels like to be jealous of a robot.
Want to experience the future over some tasty coffee and a casual meal?
LOVOT Cafe & Store
＊The Kichijoji location mentioned in this article closed in February 2023. For those interested, please consider the Kawasaki location in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Address: 2F Lazona Kawasaki Plaza, 71-1 Horikawacho, Saiwai Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture
Reservations are required and can be made on the website.
70 minutes per group (including 20 minutes to play with LOVOT)
Official website: https://lovotcafe.com/