Little Seiko: Japanese company develops creepy kindergarten girl robot
Tokyo-based electronics company Murata yesterday unveiled a small humanoid robot [JP] that can unicycle forward and backward and is also able to stop without falling over. And it looks creepy to me.

The company introduced the female humanoid, which is supposed to resemble a kindergarten girl (!), as an alternative to their flag ship robot Murata Boy (the dedicated website for this robot in English is here). The video above shows an older, strange TV commercial for the Murata Boy (it’s included in the post because the basic functions haven’t changed much – and it’s kind of cool).

Murata’s new robot is called Seiko -chan (“little Seiko” in Japanese) and stands 50cm tall (weight: 5kg). Seiko-chan is equipped with a slant detection function and a balancing system that is placed in its chest. Users can control the robot girl via Bluetooth and a built-in wireless camera.

The company said it produced four prototypes and is willing to lend Seiko-chan out to elementary and middle schools for educational purposes. Next week, the general public (including me) has the chance to see the robot showcased at the CEATEC 2008 tech exhibition in Chiba near Tokyo.