Toyota is investing in robots for homes

Toyota is making its first foray into robots for homes in its latest attempt to connect with consumers outside of cars. The 10-centimetre talking robot called Kirobo Mini, which will be sold in Japan from next year for ¥39,800 ($392), claims to have the intelligence of a five year-old and can learn phrases and recognise facial expressions with a built-in camera and sensors (see also “Anki, a San Francisco start-up whose toys are powered by artificial intelligence“. The new venture comes as Japan’s largest carmaker is investing in artificial intelligence and poaching global robotics experts to battle incursions into the automotive industry by Google (and Artificial Intelligence), Apple (with McLarend) and other technology rivals… The palm-sized robot, with big eyes and red shoes, is small enough to be carried around. When placed in cars, it encourages safe driving by saying phrases such as “Oops!” when the driver suddenly brakes, and “Don’t leave me behind”, when left in the vehicle.


Kana Inagaki