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Cybersatchmo - a great step forward for humanity

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Japanese car maker Toyota is resolutely determined not to be outdone in developing the world's most pointless novelty robot.

Responding to the gauntlet thrown down by Honda's Asimo and Sony's Qrio - the latter of which can sing and dance - Toyota has unveiled an unnamed, 120cm-high trumpet-playing assemblage of components, guaranteed to blow its rivals off the stage of Nipponese robotic one-upmanship.

There is no indication as to how much this project has cost, but Toyota clearly sees it at a standard bearer for the company's technical prowess.

"I'm confident that this will be a symbol of Toyota Group's technology," said Toyota President Fujio Cho. As absolute proof of this assertion, the trumpeting tin can delighted the launch audience with a brass rendition of "When you Wish upon a Star". Bless.

Toyota has no plans to sell or rent the cybersatchmo, but the company does hope that a group of them might form a robot band to play at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, central Japan.

We have a better suggestion - this cutting-edge piece of kit is the ideal replacement for the late, lamented Bryan McFadden, who recently departed legendary Irish pop combo Westlife. Alternatively, it could enter for the next series of Pop Idol and kill judge Simon Cowell - either with a Terminator-style liquid-metal cutting implement or by simply playing "When you Wish upon a Star" over and over and over again. Either way, it would then be serving some useful purpose. ®

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