Mix the rise of e-commerce in Japan with a chronic labor shortage and a graying society and what do you get?

An autonomous home delivery robot with a cartoon character voice and big inquisitive eyes.

"I'm delivering delicious food," announced CarriRo Deli, a robot the size of a cooler box that was navigating a South Korean apartment complex in April, bringing food and drinks to residents during a trial of its "last-mile" delivery service.