Researchers at Toshiba have developed a talking robot that functions as a voice-operated universal remote control for multiple home appliances. The 2.3 kilogram (5 lb), 21 x 27 centimeter (8 x 11 in) prototype robot, named ApriPoko, learns how to operate various remote controls by watching and asking questions. ApriPoko sits in the living room and waits for you to use a remote control. When its sensors detect infrared rays emitted by a remote, the robot speaks up: “What did you just do?” it asks. Tell ApriPoko what you did (”I turned on the stereo” or “I changed to channel 321,” for example), and it commits the details to memory. Then, next time you want to turn on the stereo or change the channel, simply tell ApriPoko and it transmits the appropriate IR signal directly to the device. The prototype robot is still in the development and testing phase, but Toshiba hopes to have a viable product soon.Someday soon, you'll hear about people who have hundreds of robots running around their house, right alongside the lady-with-three-hundred-cats-type stories.