TOKYO (AP) — The new robot from Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. can't do much but chatter in a high-pitched voice.
The 39,800-yen ($390), 10-centimeter (4-inch) -tall, doll-like Kirobo Mini — whose name comes from "kibo," or "hope," and "robot" — supposedly has the smarts of a 5-year-old.
Fuminori Kataoka, general manager in charge of the project, says its value is emotional, going from home to car to the outdoors as a faithful companion, although the owner must do all the walking and driving.
Preorders start in Japan later this year. Shipments are set for next year. No overseas sales are planned so far.
It comes equipped with a camera, microphone and Bluetooth, and connects to a smartphone. It turns its head toward a voice, although sometimes that function fails.