Tech News: Toyota launches ‘baby’ robot for companionship


A palm-sized robot that can hold dialogues will go on sale in Japan programmer Toyota has declared.
Kirobo Mini, who was 10cm (4in) high, were designed to provide companionship, the firm said.
And it could tailor opinions to be included by dialogues about journeys according to information from its owner’s vehicle.
In addition, it has traits that are childlike, but a robotics specialist told the BBC a robot cannot be a replacement for a kid.
“This susceptibility is designed to invoke an emotional link.”
“It reminded me of the Tamagotchi – the thought of having a cute little thing that’s not always giving you the feeling it is living but has these lifelike characteristics,” she told the BBC.

“They’re appealing to people’s nurturing instincts.”
Nevertheless, Prof Dautenhahn, said it was “offensive” to consider it could be a kid replacement for girls without kids, as some reportshave proposed.
Some of the advertising stuff of Toyota reveals girls but the firm doesn’t not expressly make this claim.
“It might make folks feel good, but there isn’t any human element here, robots cannot be replacements for kids,” said Prof Dautenhahn.
‘Chance dialogue’
Recall preceding occasions and user preferences, like trips, dislikes and likes
Use information from connected devices including those in automobile or your home to create comments
It’s not significantly more expensive than other company robots – Pepper, Aldebaran’s humanoid robot, cost 198,000 yen at launching.
The forerunner of Kirobo Mini, Kirobo was called by a 34cm robot, was sent up in 2013 to the International Space Station.
Its job was to accompany Japanese astronaut Kochi Wakata within a study about isolation.