Babyloid is a tiny robot designed to provide companionship and to alleviate depression in the elderly. Its appearance is based on a baby beluga whale, and the robot keeps its owner occupied by crying and acting fussy. Notes Plastic Pals:

It measures approximately 44cm (17″) in length and weighs 2.2kg (4.8 lbs). The robot's arms can wiggle, its eyelids can blink, and its mouth can open thanks to built-in actuators, and the silicone resin face is loaded with LEDs to create the illusion of running tears or red cheeks.

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This therapeutic robot is the brainchild of Chukyo University of Science and Technology Professor Kanou Masayoshi, who's building a new prototype in the next two years and hopes to someday market the Babyloid for approximately $600. Normally we're less than charmed by leering robotic infants, but if placating this baby whalebot Tamagotchi makes people happy, why not?

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Photos: Robonable/ROBO-FES