21/12/2009 13:48 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Scary Robot Baby Designed To Teach Parenting Skills

It's difficult to tell just exactly what this latest in robotic simulation, courtesy of Japanese scientists (those crazy guys), is meant to do.

Creators of the 'Yotaro' baby simulator claim that it is an educational tool designed to teach parents-to-be about how a baby reacts to contact and stimulation.

It's a clever piece of kit with an interactive screen which can display a range of emotions, responds to touch and even cries real tears.

Still, it's hard to ignore the fact that it looks like a freaky giant light bulb.

The promotional video from Yotaro shows terrified children being pushed towards the giant glowing baby head, shaking rattles and stroking its face, hoping not to make it angry.

It may only be concept technology at the moment and not actually for sale, but perhaps one possible application could be to frighten kids out of pestering their parents for a little brother or sister.

Certainly the Yotaro baby simulator has very little in common with actual infants.

Massive moon-face aside, Yotaro may be able to smile, cry and respond to interaction, but as all parents know real crying babies often do not respond to anything.

Also Yotaro never moves away from his cot/computer, so it cannot recreate the hours of frustration new parents spend rocking and holding an inconsolable baby.

The technology behind the touch responsive screen and interactive technology may be very clever, but for a better baby simulator, an alarm clock strapped to an incontinent puppy might be a touch more realistic.

Do you think the Yotaro baby simulator has anything to teach parents-to-be?