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Technology

Toyota's pint-sized conversation robot debuts in Japan

Kirobo Mini can connect with cars and tell how much gas is left in the tank

Toyota's Kirobo Mini is now on sale across Japan.

TOKYO -- New from Toyota Motor, a robot that can talk, learn and serve up information on your car and home -- all in a package small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

The Kirobo Mini, released nationwide Wednesday, measures just 10cm tall but packs a powerful punch. The robot can hold a conversation with its owner, including hand and facial gestures, and will learn and grow over time, remembering details from past interactions.

When connected to a compatible vehicle, Kirobo Mini can relay details including the amount of gasoline left in the tank, according to Toyota. And when linked up with one of Toyota Home's smart homes, the robot can tell whether the doors are locked and the air conditioner or water heater are on or off.

Kirobo Mini is available at Toyota dealerships around Japan for 42,984 yen ($385), tax included. Using the device also requires a dedicated smartphone app, which runs 350 yen per month.

(Nikkei)

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