Small enough to fit in the cup holder of your car, the robot is described by Toyota as a mini communication partner developed to provide companionship.” Named Kirobo Mini, it is a 4-inch high gizmo which is said to be able to chat away and even respond to facial expressions.
Company plans to start sell of Kirobo across Japan next year at the cost of around $400 before tax. It didn’t mention any plans for introducing it in other countries.
The robot can remember its companion’s likes and dislikes along with the journeys they’ve taken together. It can also be linked up to cars and gadgets in the home to make the conversation livelier.
Japan is becoming a robot friendly nation faster than any other country. They’re seen as part of the solution to the country’s aging population and shrinking workforce. Androids are being touted as potential caregivers for the elderly and child minders that could enable more women to work.