Robots to replace babies in Japan?

Japan’s birth rate has been on the decline for some time now, keeping many in the baby business unsure of the future. But engineers at Toyota have come up with an ingenious solution to help people who would like to feel the companionship of kids: an annoying robot.

The Kirobo Mini robot is believed to wobble a bit and is unable to even balance itself while seated, giving the feel that it is indeed a real baby. The automobile giant says the robot uses artificial intelligence techonologies that makes it as smart as a 5 year-old. The robot also uses a built-in camera to recognize facial expressions and learn phrases.

It also speaks in a high pitched voice, just like a real baby that will never let you get any sleep. And, just like a real baby, it will drain your wallet. It costs $392.

Japan has been in the forefront of aging among the world’s industrial nations and Toyota hopes that this robot will capitalise on this demographic trend