Toyota Motor's communication partner "KIROBO mini" has been decided to be released. Pre-sale is planned at some stores in Aichi, Tokyo this winter, and it is scheduled to be released nationwide in 2017.
KIROBO mini is a small robot with a sitting height of about 10 cm and a weight of 183 g. You can't walk on two legs, but you can put it in a car drink holder or a special case and go out together.
The built-in sensor and camera recognize the other party's facial expressions and voice directions, and engage in casual conversations such as chats with gestures. The feature is that you can have a conversation that is close to your feelings by capturing facial expressions such as "smile" and "true face".
Also, one of the attractions is that the comments gradually change and grow, such as "I like this" and "I've come before", gradually remembering the person's memories and tastes. Since there is no function to recognize people individually, it seems that they basically assume one-on-one communication. In the future, it is expected that it will cooperate with the energy management service "TSC-HEMS" provided by Toyota Home to convey the situation of homes and cars in conversation.
A smartphone and a dedicated app are required to use it. Continuous communication time is about 2.5 hours (charging time is about 3 hours). The manufacturer's suggested retail price is expected to be 39,800 yen (excluding tax). Advance reservations will be accepted from the website.