The robot 10 centimeters tall, will go on sale next year in Japan for ¥ 39.800 ($ 400) after a larger version of kirobo googly eyes – about the size of a chihuahua – became in the first android talk with astronaut in space.
Toyota is usually associated with cars, but has been investing millions in robotics and kirobo is its first foray into the commercial sector. the world’s largest automaker said the robot – which can carry out simple conversations and respond to emotions -. could help develop vehicle technology
“We want to address the growing problems in society where people do not have anyone to talk to,” said Shenglong Yoshida, an officer of Toyota senior management.
kirobo Mini is being exhibited at the largest electronics fair in Asia, the IT and Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC), held in Tokyo this week.
kirobo became the first astronaut robot in the world after he was transferred to the International Space Station in 2013 as a conversation partner for the Japanese commander Koichi Wakata.
It was part of a long-term project to see how a robot could act as a partner for isolated people, especially to see if you can develop conversational skills.
Japan faces the twin threats of aging – with people over 65 is expected to account for nearly 40 percent of the population in 2060 -. And declining birthrate
has also struggled with problems of social isolation, most notably the phenomenon of “hikikomori” where people, often teenagers and young adults, refuse to leave the house or participate socially, opting instead to play video games or stay in their rooms.
There are a number of Japanese companies selling robots on the market, including mobile phone operator SoftBank that selling your talking humanoid Pepper began last year.