l JAPAN: Kao Corp. has introduced a cleaning robot that is far less expensive than comparable devices. Rather than using a vacuum, the robot employs a special cleaning sheet to wipe hair and dust away from floors. The round device cannot be stopped by table legs or other furniture. Kao’s machine, powered by two A batteries, typically takes 10-15 minutes to clean a 9.7 square meter area. It is available at retail stores or on the web: www.happy-kobo.jp/.