Yotaro the Baby Bot VS Japan’s Sagging Birth Rate

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?

Japan’s Population Getting Older and Older Accroding to 2009 Report

old-man-working Japan’s population is expected to have declined further in with the number of Japanese babies born in the country in the year estimated to have decreased 22,000 from 2008 to 1,069,000, according to health ministry estimates released Thursday. The number of Japanese people who died in the country in the year is estimated to have increased for the ninth consecutive year to 1,144,000, up 2,000 from 2008 and the highest number since comparable data became available in 1947.

For the rest of the story: AP

Photo by: pjan vandaele