A palm-sized robot that can hold conversations will go on sale in Japan next year, developer Toyota has announced.
Kirobo Mini, who was 10cm (4in) high, had been designed to provide companionship, the company said.
And it could tailor conversations to include comments about journeys based on data from its owner’s vehicle.
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Time For Truth: (BBC News) – Toyota launches 'baby' robot for companionship
A number of Japanese manufacturers have suspended operations after two powerful earthquakes hit Kumamoto in south-western Japan.
Electronics giant Sony, as well as automakers Honda and Toyota cited damage at their plants.
Toyota Motor Corp moved into damage control mode on Friday after its new communications chief Julie Hamp, an American and its first senior woman executive, was arrested on suspicion of illegally bringing pain killers into Japan just two months after her appointment.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda apologized for the incident at a news conference and reiterated the company’s belief that Hamp had no intent of breaking the law.
Japanese carmaker Toyota is recalling 1.75 million vehicles worldwide over faulty brake installations and fuel component issues.
The latest brake defect is found in some models of Toyota’s Crown Majesta, as well as the Noah and Voxy models produced between June 2007 and 2012.
Toyota told the BBC it was not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities caused by this defect.
Japan’s stock markets were rattled after a trading error caused more than $600bn (£370bn) worth of orders to be made and then cancelled.
An anonymous broker entered an over-the-counter trade for 42 stocks before swiftly cancelling it on Wednesday.