Panasonic recently unveiled a new kind of cleaning robot at the Tokyo Fiber Senseware Expo in Milan. Called Fukitorimushi, the small service bot is covered in Nanofront, a nanofiber polyester fabric which can absorb oil and pick up small paricles of dust. It moves a bit like an earthworm, crawling about the floor using several light sensors to root out the dirt, and can navigate itself back to its charging station when it needs more juice. Designers of the spiffy little guy seem to think that owners will bond to it as if it were a pet. No word on when these dudes will be commercially available, but we'll let you know as soon as we score one of our very own -- we're thinking about calling it Sal. There's a video of it doing its rather unnerving business after the break.

[Via Robots.net]

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Fukitorimushi cleaning bot is just like a pet -- only cleaner, quieter, better behaved, and more pillow-shaped