Yotaro cries, giggles, and kicks when you tickle him. He sneezes and his nose runs. When he is upset, his rattle calms him down.
An average baby — sort of — since Yotaro is a robot. His inventors hope he will help Japan’s sagging birth rate, among the lowest in the world.
“A robot can’t be human but it’s great if this robot triggers human emotions, so humans want to have their own baby,” said Hiroki Kunimura, the project leader for the Yotaro robot.
Kunimura and his University of Tsukuba team originally built Yotaro because they wanted to create a robot that would appeal across national and cultural lines. Since a baby doesn’t have any language skills yet, they chose to build a robotic infant.
Read the rest of the story: Can baby ‘bot help Japan reproduce?