Melbourne, Mar 27 : Parents in Japan who can't find a suitable baby sitter now need only to look towards the local department store for a minder ever ready to take of their kids - a friendly robot.
Japanese retailer Aeon has introduced a 140 centimetre yellow-and-white robot at a store in the southern city of Fukuoka.
Kids who stay with the robot have to wear special badges that bear codes which it can read, thereby identifying kids by their name and age.
It can even chat with them, although its vocabulary is a bit limited.
Developed with leading robot-maker Tmsuk, the automaton is also able to beam advertising messages using a projector in one of its eyes, and can also show pictures captured with a camera installed in the other eye.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Tmsuk and Aeon are now plan to further develop the technology to put robots to other uses that might include responsibilities like guiding shoppers through stores, and helping them fill their carts.