Sony developing robot able to bond with humans

During a Corporate Strategy Meeting today, Sony detailed plans to create a robot with which humans will be able to form an emotional bond. Named as one of the company's new future initiatives, this yet-unnamed robot will " to grow to inspire love and affection," and will also be "capable of forming an emotional bond with customers." It appears the robot will be targeted at retail stores, not private homes.

The plan was detailed during Sony's Corporate Strategy Meeting for its fiscal year that will end on March 31 of next year. According to the company's president and CEO Kazuo Hirai, Sony has several new initiatives for the future, including things like better leveraging its strengths in new areas of business and improve its collaboration with outside experts.

Most interesting, though, are its plans concerning things like robotics and artificial intelligence. According to Kazuo, Sony has plans to "explore broader business opportunities" related to both artificial intelligence and robotics; it has also, as of April, established an organization leading to a business launch specifically for the aforementioned emotional, bonding-capable robot.

Sony also has plans to use its current expertise in named areas like sensors and mechatronics with the areas of robotics, artificial intelligence, communications, "and other elements." The company will also be launching a corporate venture capital fund called "Sony Innovation Fund" next month to help support aspects of its R&D efforts.