Vacuum robot comes with line of patter

TOKYO — It looks just like iRobot’s Roomba vacuuming machine, except the new circular roaming vacuum cleaner from Sharp Corp. is trilingual, and even knows a hip humorous dialect.

Cocorobo, which can also send photos taken from your home to your cell phone, says 36 phrases including “Long time no see” and “Hello” in Japanese, English and Chinese.

The Japanese electronics maker said Tuesday that the robot also speaks the Kansai dialect of southwestern Japan widely viewed as more comical and witty than standard Japanese.

The machine answers, “So good,” when asked “How’s it going?” In the Kansai dialect, it replies the equivalent of, “I’m cool and feeling good.”

Cocorobo sells for 130,000 yen ($1,600) and goes on sale next month in Japan, and later in China and other Asian nations.

Associated Press