Japan selling talking robots that won't even try to understand human speech or make much sense

Associated Press

The scientist behind a new talking robot in Japan says people should stop expecting robots to understand them, and instead try to chime in with robotic conversations.

Hiroshi Ishiguro's 28-centimer (11-inch) tall button-eyed Sota, which stands for "social talker," is programmed to mainly talk with a fellow robot, and won't be trying too hard to understand human speech — the major, and often frustrating, drawback of companion robots.

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Sota, shown to reporters at a Tokyo museum Tuesday, goes on sale in July at under 100,000 yen ($850) each.

Robot maker Vstone simplified Ishiguro's research for the mass-produced Sota. It expects to sell 3,000 of them in the first year.