According to various news reports HRP-4C is a walking and talking robot just announced in Japan. The unit is described as being generally female in form with a height of 158 centimeters and a weight of 58 kilograms. The basic robotic framework will be available for sale and software available as open source. Various news articles are available: International Herald Tribute and Engadget (with link to video).

Obviously there is a lot of work to do but I am impressed at what National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan has achieved thus far. I saw Asimo (developed by Honda) demonstrated in 2006 and I was impressed then and I expected to see progress. Based on what I see it will not be too many years until we see more advanced models working a variety of roles. This will be happen just in time since Japan (like many other countries) has an aging population.

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