Japanese robotics manufacturer MJI Robotics has developed Tapia, a communications robot that is a real-life companion for every family.

It recognises its owner’s face and can remember their birthday, making sure they will get at least one happy birthday message every year. And that message will be crafted just for you, because Tapia gets to know you via machine learning. It can detect how you’re feeling and play music to express those emotions, or reassure you if you’re feeling down.

The robot also has some built-in security functions for both you and your family’s peace of mind. If your Tapia starts talking to you and you don’t respond within 24 hours, for example, it’ll let your family know you haven’t replied, potentially alerting them to any problems.

It can also help you remember to take medication, warn you of adverse weather conditions if you decide you want to pop out in an impending snowstorm (or heat wave) and can alert you to the usual phone calls, news headlines and other things happening in the world that may affect you.

Tapia will take photos when it thinks one is needed (such as if you’re having a get-together with your friends), capturing the moment. If you get into trouble – for example you are lost in the wilderness with Tapia – it will take a picture of your location and send to your family so they can come to your rescue.

It can also read to your children to keep them entertained if you’re out or otherwise engaged, making sure they stay out of your way and learn even if you’re not there.

Tapia only understands and speak Japanese at the moment, but we really hope MJI Robotics brings the smart communication robot to the Western World, whether you want to use it as a toy or much, much more.