Toyota unveils robot BABY as birth rate plummets
Toyota has unveiled a miniature robot which is intended to substitute for a BABY.
The car manufacturer’s Kirobo Mini, which blinks its eyes and speaks in a baby-like voice, is to go on sale in Japan next year for 39,800 yen (£300).
Japan’s birth rates have plummeted to 500,000 a year and a quarter of its population is now over the age of 65, leading to the introduction of other robots into care services.
"He wobbles a bit, and this is meant to emulate a seated baby, which hasn't fully developed the skills to balance itself," said Fuminori Kataoka, Kirobo Mini's chief design engineer.
"This vulnerability is meant to invoke an emotional connection."
The robo-baby comes in a cradle that doubles as a baby seat and is designed to fit inside cup holders in cars.
Reuters reported that Japan has the second-highest concentration of industrial robots after South Korea, with 314 machines per 100,000 employees.
Toyota want Kirobo Mini to lead to more advanced robots that will be able to recognise and react to human emotions.
Manchester City fans could soon be entertained at games by robots.