It seems that just about every large company on the planet has suddenly decided that robots are the next big thing. The latest is Sony, which has filed a slightly unusual patent for a small humanoid robot. The patent mostly concerns the robot's vision system, and the actual form of the robot seems to be almost an afterthought.
What the purpose of this robot is remains to be seen, but it's nice to know that companies like this are getting serious about robotics.
U.S. patent application No. 20140074292 (titled "Robot device, method of controlling robot device, computer program, and program storage medium") describes a robot that looks an awful lot like the company's oft-teased but never delivered humanoid robot, albeit transformed from a biped to one that moves on wheels.