Lonely at the wheel? Toyota wants to sell you a talking robot to keep you company.
Small enough to fit in the cup holder of your Corolla, the robot is described by Toyota as “a miniature communication partner developed to provide companionship.”
Named Kirobo Mini, the 4-inch high gizmo can apparently chat away and even respond to facial expressions.
“Oh no, what has happened?” it asks in response to a young woman’s downcast face in a Toyota video.
The world’s biggest automaker plans to put Kirobo on sale in dealerships across Japan next year for around $400 before tax. It didn’t mention any plans for introducing it in other countries.
The robot can remember its companion’s likes and dislikes as well as journeys they’ve taken together, Toyota says. And it can be linked up to cars and gadgets in the home to make the conversation more lively.