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Toyota's tiny robot companion fits in your car's cup holder

Mat Smith, @thatmatsmith
October 28, 2015
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It's another animated friend to add to your collection of 'bots that might not ever appear in the US -- although it might make it into space.Toyota's Kirobo mini is tiny. In fact, it's small enough as to 'install' into your auto's cup holster -- if you're willing to part with your commuter latte. The robot forms part of Toyota's AI and human interaction research that it and several Japanese universities are working together on. Like its smartphone relative, the Mini gesticulates, can respond to voice requests and apparently even detect a drivers' emotions. (There's a camera built into the little guy. He's not psychic. Yet).

Gallery: Toyota's Kirobo Mini at Tokyo Motor Show 2015 | 5 Photos

According to Toyota, the robot could help analyze the behavior and actions of drivers in the future, "informing future innovations and developing transport that's in tune with the driver's mood". Sounds a lil' bit sinister, but Toyota isn't letting on just yet how it'll apply its Kirobo Mini to harvest our feelings.

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