Home-care robots that can turn on video recorders and take digital photographs of pets while their owners are away will hit Japanese stores this week, a company spokeswoman said.

The white-and-blue 16-centimetre (6.4-inch) robots, code-named FII-RII and controlled via mobile phones, will go on sale on Friday.

“Other Japanese companies are putting their emphasis on humanoid or entertainment robots, but the FII-RII has a completely different concept, which is aimed at helping people’s daily life,” said Terumi Endo of toy company Takara Corp., one of four companies working on the project. More here.