Japanese scientists have created the world's first news-reading robots. They really look and act like human beings. The android newscaster even sounded human and had a sense of humour. The scientists showed two robots to reporters in Tokyo. One of them is called "Kodomoroid". This word joins the Japanese for child, "kodomo," with the English word "android". The other robot is called "Otonoaroid" – the combination of the Japanese word for adult with "android". The first pieces of news read by the robots were on an imaginary earthquake in Tokyo and a raid by the FBI. The robots' creator is a leading robotics professor, Hiroshi Ishiguro. He did not say when robots would read the news for real.
Robots are big business in Japan. Many companies spend a lot of money on research and development to make robots better and better. The Japanese have a very positive image of robots. They think they are both helpful and cute. In the West, people think of them as a little scary. They worry that robots will take over the world one day and control us. Professor Ishiguro told reporters that robots are very important. He said: "We will have more and more robots in our lives in the future." He added that robots are now not so expensive and so are increasingly becoming a part of everyday life in Japan: "Robots are now becoming affordable - no different from owning a laptop," he said.