It is exactly the catchiest name I've heard (but volumes better than "Qrio"), but Wakamaru is the latest in Japan's bid to take over the world with robots. That and help out their rapidly aging population.
Wakamaru, weighing in at 30kg, 3ft tall, and anywhere from $9,000 to $14,000 USD (Wired says $9,000, BBC says $14,000), better be something special. And, if all the claimed features are true, it is.
Wakamaru's website has pictures and videos of the friendly yellow robot. It has a claimed battery life of 2 hrs and a slew of sensors, including 2 cameras (front mounted and omnidirectional), 4 microphones, and touch sensors. He also has 2 4 DOF arms. But, before you rush out and buy one take note that it won't work well on surfaces with more than 1cm of unevenness (read: needs very smooth floors).
The folks at MontaVista Software (what's powering Wakamaru) say, "Its primary goal for the Japanese market is to provide companionship … be with (patients) like a health-care provider."
Also of note is the website of Toshiyuki Kita, the designer of the robot.
Oh, and it's Linux powered, so I fully expect to see a wave of hacks coming from across the pond.
Google News provides an excellent roundup of articles about Wakamaru.