We all imagine that the first country to embrace domestic humanoid robots en masse is going to be Japan. But which robot is going to be the first to capture the public's imagination enough to become an indispensible household item? Fujisoft is pinning its hopes on the new humanoid robot named Palro, which was showcased this week.

Palro has two things going for it. Standing at a diminutive 39.8 cm in height and speaking in a helium-pitched voice, it’s unthreatening and cute. Perhaps the bigger plus, though, is that Palro can be programmed via an open source Ubuntu operating system.  Consumers can not only download new functions (for example, a dance program), but they can also create their own C++ programs  so its functionality isn't limited to the original program.