LITTLE DRIVING COMPANION
Going on a road trip alone no longer has to be a lonely endeavour, especially if you’ve got one of Toyota’s Kirobo Minis.
This robot fits in the palm of your hand and is only 10cm tall when placed in a sitting position. When the Kirobo Mini is connected to a dedicated app via Bluetooth, it will engage the user in conversation based on information it has gathered, and can even memorise a user’s likes and dislikes. The robot is also programmed to recognise and interpret facial expressions, and adapt its tone and gestures accordingly. Kirobo Mini has a maximum “talk time” of 2.5 hours and takes three hours to recharge fully.
In Japan, the Kirobo Mini retails for 39,800 yen ($530). There is a 300 yen ($4) monthly subscription fee for using the app.