WAKAMARU
Katsumi Kasahara  /  AP
“This is the opening of an era in which human beings and robots can coexist,” said Mitsubishi-Heavy of its robot that can recognize 10,000 words and recognize up to 10 faces.
updated 8/29/2005 3:46:11 PM ET 2005-08-29T19:46:11

A child-shaped humanoid robot that can recognize about 10,000 words and work as a house sitter will go on sale in Japan in September.

The "Wakamaru" robot can recognize the faces of up to 10 people and talk to them. When linked to mobile phones, it can also work as a monitor to check situations at home, such as a burglary or someone falling ill, Mitsubishi-Heavy Industries Ltd. said in a statement Monday.

Mitsubishi-Heavy said it would be the first time a robot with communication ability for home use has been sold.

"This is the opening of an era in which human beings and robots can coexist," it said.

Mitsubishi-Heavy said it will start taking orders for "Wakamaru" from Sept. 16, and plans to sell 100 of the 3.3 feet-tall, 66 pound robots at about $14,300 for residents in central Tokyo.

The owner's schedule can be programmed in advance and Wakamaru can give a wake-up call and remind them of the day's events.

The robot will be on display at three locations in Tokyo including the company's showroom from Sept. 16.

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