In Brief

Kirobo Mini is a friend that can sit in your car's cup holder

Japan’s first robot astronaut Kirobo flew for 18 months in space, and now its smaller cousin will be joining in the on rides of a more mundane vehicle. The Kirobo Mini is 10-centimeters tall and will bridge the gap between humans and their machines while it sits snugly inside your car’s cup holder.

At release, the robot can carry out conversations exclusively in Japanese. Hand gestures, facial expression, and even the tone of speaking changes according to the mood of the conversation. Aside from listening, a built-in camera also lets the Kirobo Mini look at who it is talking to and identify people’s facial expressions so it can respond accordingly.

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