Q22Is it true that services have been started in Japan to dispatch robots to companies instead of temporary staff?

A22 Yes. In February 2006, the general employment agency People Staff started a robot dispatch service targeting companies and welfare organizations. It rents out a variety of robots, including the Yorisoi Ifbot that acts as a companion to senior citizens, and the Hello Kitty Robo that serves as a receptionist. These communication robots, designed by the Nagoya-based Business Design Laboratory, received high acclaim at Expo 2005 Aichi Japan.

The Yorisoi Ifbot cares for senior citizens by giving them quizzes, while the Hello Kitty Robo is designed to work as a receptionist at companies, hotels and hospitals. In a graying society in which there are increasingly fewer children, robots will doubtless play a growing role.