The Tokyo Motor Show this past week has been home to a number of new cars and auto technology. It was also, however, where Toyota unveiled the Kirobo Mini, a small robot that's a part of the Toyota Heart Project.

The robot is a slightly smaller version of the Kirobo robot that was sent to space to participate in a number of experiments in the International Space Station. This new robot, however, is built for consumers.

The little robot is about the size of an Apple and is designed to be able to sit in the user's cup-holder, helping the driver with tips and even offering emotional support to those who might need it.

The name "Kirobo" actually means "hope robot," and with its built-in software, Toyota says that the robot will be able to take in hours of data by watching the driver and detecting their moods. According to Toyota, the robot could help users with their emotional needs and could help "driving become a physically and emotionally transformative experience."

The robot can also respond to voice requests and has a small built-in camera. Toyota's goal is basically to help analyze driver behavior in the future and help inform future technologies that are aimed at being in tune with drivers' moods.

According to Toyota, people spend 4.3 years of their lives in the car on average, which is equivalent to traveling to the moon and back three times. Because of this, Toyota says that a lot can be learned about our emotions and moods in the car.

If the Kirobo Mini turns out to be a hit, it's definitely likely that the technology could be built into Toyota's cars in the future.

Via: Slashgear

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