We've been following Paro, the Japanese baby seal companion robot, for the past couple years, and have even had a couple opportunities to interact with the cuddly little creature. While we've never felt compelled to run out and buy one (at least not out of our own wallet), we do understand the attraction.
Now, after a successful 5+ year track record here in Japan, the Paro robot is about to go on sale in the US. Sales will be handled through a new joint venture company established by the Intelligent System Company in Japan and Walter Weisel, the former head of the Robotic Industries Association of the United States. Pricing is expected to be approximately USD$5,000 per robot.