Japanese electronics companies are hard at work on a new generation for the home and office that can do anything from babysitting to sending e-mail. Great photos.

Japan’s demographics betray a declining population, but one group is growing fast: humanoid robots. Indeed, the list of companies working in the field reads like a Who’s Who of Japan Inc. The country’s bipedal robot workforce is expected to become an important counter to the shrinking number of working-age employees.

The technology is certainly developing apace. Companies including Sony and Toyota have already designed bipedal robots that can run, dance, or play musical instruments. Others are preparing robotic security guards to keep burglars at bay. And then there are the “partner” robots that will provide entertainment and assistance to the elderly or teaching aids for children.

Meet some of the latest humanoid robots coming out of Tokyo. And when you’re done, take our poll and let us know which one you’d want.

More here.