Imagine spending time with a cute little robot that is as smart as a five-year-old. If you have actually raised one or more five-year-olds, you already know the answer to this question. But wait. This is not your average five-year-old. This five-year-old never needs to be fed, can fit in the palm of your hand, and never has to use the bathroom on long road trips. This mini robot is named “Kirobo.”
It is the creation of a company not generally known for its robotics, Toyota. Kirobo is an exceptionally cute “baby robot” developed by Toyota to provide, they said, companionship to people in Japan who are single and alone, such as women without children and the elderly. Kirobo is supposed to be as smart as a five-year-old and learns as it goes. It talks, recognizes facial expressions, and asks and answers questions (although currently Kirobo only speaks Japanese).
Toyota said it’s not quite artificial intelligence, but it’s pretty close. Kirobo is only available in Japan right now, but will likely be for sale in the U.S. sometime next year. If you’re not in need of a 4-inch plastic companion, you might consider one for your Roomba.
The video is in Japanese, but you can get the idea where they are headed with this.