Toyota Is Selling a Baby Robot That Reads Your Emotions and Talks to You

Road-tripping confidant, anyone?

Headshot of Christopher Heine

If you need a co-pilot for a cross-country drive or just someone to tell your problems to when a friend or psychiatrist is unavailable, Toyota now offers a robot to take care of your needs.

The car maker has revealed Kirobo Mini, a baby-sized, bionic companion that is designed to interpret people's facial reactions to converse about how they are feeling. Kirobo Mini speaks and moves its head and arms; it will cost $400 when it first becomes available next year via dealerships in Toyota's home country of Japan.

It will come with a case that can be used as a car seat for the 4-inch gizmo in the cup holder in a vehicle. Cute, huh?

Here's a YouTube video demonstrating the robot:

Meanwhile, Japan seems to be at the forefront a robot revolution that could sweep the globe in the next five or 10 years. 

Hiroshi Ishiguro, professor at Osaka University, gave a presentation at SXSW Interactive in March where he explained how bionic helpers in retail spaces would soon become a reality in his country. Read more about it here.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.
Publish date: October 4, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT