Date: 2004 December 02 07:59
Posted by Joe
Yahoo! News are currently running a story about the Japanese Snuggling Ifbot, a 45cm (18 inch) robot that is programmed to provide just enough small talk to stop the elderly going senile through lack of communication. The robot is able to match several million patterns of word phrases when spoken to. The robot also adjusts it's speech based on the date and time.
'To a statement, "Isn't it nice today?", the robot could say, "It is a fine autumn day," by detecting the season from its internal clock.'
The robot currently is only able to speak Japanese and retails for 576,000 yen ($5,600 USD). The makers are planning to develop an English speaking version of the robot as a language aid to Japanese children learning English.