The Luka owl robot has a very important job: teaching children to read. The robot, which debuted at CES last week, can read words in books and recite them back to the child.

It uses cameras in the owl’s eyes to identify the words on a page to your child. Although it shouldn’t replace the valuable time you spend reading to your child, it can be useful if you’re unavailable one evening, or your children just want to read all the time.

“We can never take over from the bedtime story time of parents, but sometimes, if you are not there, kids can continue to listen and read a story,” the company’s chief executive Jiawei Gu told the BBC.

Only books that have been loaded into the company’s database (around 50,000 at the moment), so you may find some of your child’s favourites are missing, but it’s a handy companion if you’re not always around to read to your little bookworm.

It can also instruct children to go to bed after they’ve had their bedtime story, but whether they listen to a robot if they won’t listen to their parents is a whole other issue.

It’s targeted at children between the ages of two and eight – a vital time for the development o your child’s reading and speaking skills, so it’s pleasing to see that at least the demo of Luka uses a rather middle-class voice to read the words out from the page. Who wouldn’t want their child to pronounce words like Alexander Armstrong in Hey Duggee!?

Luka has already been released to the Chinese market, but this new, improved version will be heading to US shores in March this year, for the rather reasonable price of $150 (£110).