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Two-Legged Home Robot, Coming Soon To Japan 260

Posted by timothy
from the for-that-money-it-better-wash-dishes dept.
An anonymous reader submits "Two Japanese companies, (ZMP corp., and Mizuno, a athletic goods manufacturer), announced that they will start selling the first two-legged robot for home use. The robot, called nuvo, will retail for 500,000 yen. It wil be able to understand 1,000 (Japanese) words, dance, and allow the owner to contact the robot via 3G phones."
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Two-Legged Home Robot, Coming Soon To Japan

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  • by Xpilot (117961) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:12AM (#8450319) Homepage
    Anyone care to fansub this article?

    Nice picture though.

    • Human Translation (Score:5, Informative)

      by jetfuel (755102) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:49AM (#8450443) Homepage
      A two legged robot that you can play with in your home will be available as early as the end of this year for 500000 yen. Venture company ZMP and sports equipment company Mizuno, together announced on the 2nd.

      As for 2 legged robots, Sony's QRIO and Honda's ASIMO are famous, but they are mainly for publicity purposes and are rarely purchased for general use.

      nuvo is 39 centimeters, and 2.5 kilograms. It can walk forward, backward, left, or right, and if it falls, can get up automatically from any position. It can be taught about 1000 words, follow directions, (something [jishiki?]) or dance.

      In the head is a camera. Using NTT DoCoMo 3rd generation phones, you can see from the robot's perspective, and use it as a remote controlled "security robot".

      Minimizing the use of joints allowed the cost to remain low. Over 3000 orders are expected by the new year.
      • so not that much change to read the headline
        "hacked robot kills faimly"

        im not sure if thats a godo thign or a bad thing :)
      • Re:Human Translation (Score:5, Informative)

        by mm0mm (687212) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @07:21AM (#8450695)
        Good work.
        It can be taught about 1000 words, follow directions, (something [jishiki?]) or dance.
        Actually the word reads "ojigi," and it means "bowing (greeting)." So the whole sentence reads:
        "[it] memorizes 1000 words of conversational vocabulary, and bows and dances by orders."
        I found it amusing that Japanese engineers imprinted what is known as their stereotypical behavior (bowing) to the robot. You say, "Hey, Robot! Apologize!" and this robot will bow in front of you without knowing what he did wrong. What a nice pet.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @08:28AM (#8450975)
          "I found it amusing that Japanese engineers imprinted what is known as their stereotypical behavior (bowing) to the robot. You say, "Hey, Robot! Apologize!" and this robot will bow in front of you without knowing what he did wrong. What a nice pet."

          Interestingly enough... my girlfriend already has a robot identical to this!!! *sigh*

      • Hey, you're the only amateur translator other than me who got the 'joints' part right!

        There should be a community for amateur Japanese translation -- it'd be good to get some feedback and corrections.

      • by Thing 1 (178996) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @10:14AM (#8451918) Journal
        Minimizing the use of joints allowed the cost to remain low.

        A robot that can't get you stoned? Think I'll pass...

      • I'm a little confused. We get told that this place is in semi-permanent recession. But the makers of this toy expect to sell 3000 of them at about $3800 each. About 15 inches high with some stepper motors and sensors and some microcontrollers, a microphone, ect...

        What's the point? No, seriously, what's the point of doing this? Is this a prototype of a robotic product for worldwide marketing? At $3800 US a pop?

        The world population is exploding. There is always going to be someone who would be
    • Worldlingo.com translates it into this: Two foot walking robot which can be played with home, at approximately 1 unit 500000 Yen is sold even on end of this year. Venture enterprise "ZMP" of robot development and sporting goods major ~Ym developed with "nuvo (E - baud)", were released jointly on the 2nd. @As for two foot walking robot, SONY "QRIO (the curio)" and HONDA "ASIMO (AV)" it is famous, but loan for the advertisement of enterprise in the center, as for general sale is unusual. @As for nuvo 39 ce
    • by AndroidCat (229562) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @07:28AM (#8450723) Homepage
      Firm to mass-produce robot humanoids [canoe.ca] and Walking robot to be mass produced [ananova.com] (Probably dozens of others versions of this press release.)

      For the metrically challenged "39-centimetre-tall" is roughly 16 inches high. Woohoo. That'll scare burglars, especially with those blue balls on the end of its arms. For that price, I think I'll stick to the low-tech version that comes with an environmently friendly wind-up key.

  • 3G Phones ? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Gopal.V (532678) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:14AM (#8450322) Homepage Journal
    War driving to conquer japan with mad freaking robots .... hopefully they'll not think about bluetooth ... :)
  • A toy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ObviousGuy (578567) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:15AM (#8450329) Homepage Journal
    I guess there's a market for this kind of thing in Japan. The mean age in Japan is approaching 70 and many of these older persons are living alone, so there are a lot of seniors that will require assistance with their daily life. A robot that can fetch medicine or notify the owner that it is time to take medicine or even notify the authorities if the owner doesn't move for more than a specified time.

    More than just "wow, this is cool! Imagine a beowulf cluster of these", this robot is a significant step forward for the assisted-living technological front.
    • notify the authorities if the owner doesn't move for more than a specified time. So.. the police arrive everytime betty goies for a nap?
    • Re:A toy? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Wiser87 (742455)
      A robot that can fetch medicine...

      Small problem there, it doesn't have any hands.
    • Re:A toy? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mantera (685223)

      "...or even notify the authorities if the owner doesn't move for more than a specified time."
      I totally love this one... I love you man, i'm ur fan from now on
    • Look at Slashdot Japan article [slashdot.jp]

      snurf-kin wrote [slashdot.jp]:
      I want maid-robot!

      ...and Annoymous Cowerd replies [slashdot.jp]:
      There are no market for robots without Hentai("moe") element!

      Both of above comments area moderated +2,Funny & Insightful
      This is the mindset of Japanese geek,sad fact...
    • Wrong! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DrInequality (521068) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:50AM (#8450447) Homepage
      I guess there's a market for this kind of thing in Japan. The mean age in Japan is approaching 70 and many of these older persons are living alone, so there are a lot of seniors that will require assistance with their daily life. A robot that can fetch medicine or notify the owner that it is time to take medicine or even notify the authorities if the owner doesn't move for more than a specified time.

      Except the robot is useless for that. No hands for medicine and the camera will not be sufficiently well-placed for monitoring. There will only be a single (low-res) viewpoint of the world from low to the ground. There will be too many false alarms from sleeping, watching TV or just out of the house!

      More than just "wow, this is cool! Imagine a beowulf cluster of these", this robot is a significant step forward for the assisted-living technological front.

      Nope. The Japanese fixation with humanoid robots is not going to help caring for the elderly any time soon. We have no good way of dealing with flexible materials, no good vision-based object recognition for reasonable sets of objects and no way of doing truly dextrous manipulation (two arms at once!).

      When someone produces a cheap robot with reasonable sensors and an open source development environment, we many be getting somewhere. Then, instead of reading Slashdot, you could be programming your own robot.

      • Re:Wrong! (Score:3, Funny)

        by TGK (262438)
        What about the NG-5 [irobotnow.com]? Surely something like this would be an ideal high end application of such a product?

        Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. -- I. Assimov

        • I saw on for sale on ebay (seriously). It hadn't reached it's reserve yet, but people had bid on it.

          Oh, here it is. ng-5 [ebay.com]
      • Re:Wrong! (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hard_Code (49548)
        What the Japanese haven't told you is that they plan on turning their elderly INTO robots. That should solve the problem handily.
      • Re:Wrong! (Score:3, Funny)

        by MoneyT (548795)
        Yeah, but with an opensource robot, by the time you configured him to get you a beer, you could have been at the bar for hours.
    • Re:A toy? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by squaretorus (459130)
      At last - all duties towards ageing relatives can be transferred to a robot carer. The cost / benefit of these things could be HUGE.

      To pay for relatively minimal care for an elderly relative - even just a daily visit for half an hour to make sure they havent puked into the TV costs 5 figures a year. Extend that to relatively hands on / live in care and your looking at a significant percentage of even the best salary. If your siblings can't chip in and there no insurance around you can be looking at well ov
    • Re:A toy? (Score:5, Informative)

      by batura (651273) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:09AM (#8450496)
      The mean age in Japan is approaching 70

      Uh, I thought that sounded a little rediculus, so I thought I would check around. I was right according to the this: CIA Factbook [cia.gov]

      The mean and median ages are barely past forty.
    • Re:A toy? (Score:3, Informative)

      by GerritHoll (70088)
      ...The mean age in Japan is approaching 70...

      You're over-aggerating. According to the CIA World Fact Book [cia.gov], 18.6% is older than 65, while the median age is 42 (how could it be different ;-). A fertility rate of 1.38 is not very healthy indeed - although 22 countries have an even lower rate, especially is eastern europe. So the fact that those robots mainly come from Japan rather than Europe (or the USA) is not caused by the age structure, but must have other causes.

    • Well, this version won't be useful for that. This one is a toy, and at that price, they don't plan to sell many of them. But it helps pay for the next model, which will be more useful, and cheaper. Etc. (You know the cycle.)

      The true home robot is probably 10 years off, or even more. But for now there's toy robots, and vacuum cleaners. Perhaps next year both versions (humanoid & usuform) will do a bit more and be a bit cheaper. It's still a few years until the robot that can run an summon help wh
  • Welcome (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:18AM (#8450337)
    I for one welcome our new overlord nuvo
  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:18AM (#8450340) Homepage
    Just what the porn industry needs. Wait till the makers of Real Doll create a version that walks, talks....and fucks.

    Actually, I might pay for that. *grin*

  • by maxmg (555112) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:20AM (#8450345)
    It will be able to understand 1,000 words, dance, and allow you to contact it via 3G phones

    sounds like most girls you meet in clubs today...
  • The price (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hobbex (41473) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:21AM (#8450349)
    Since nobody has noted it yet, 500,000 yen is about $4,500.

    Source: http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic
    • Decisions decisions... walking talking robot... or a realdoll... how about a combination of both? On a segway while walking an AIBO?
  • Translation.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:21AM (#8450351)
    The 2-pair-of-shoes bipedal robot which can play at home is put on the market just over or below [ one ] 500,000 yen also at the end of this year. It was opened to the public on the 2nd by "nuvo (?-bow)" which the venture business "ZMP" of robot development and Mizuno, a major sporting-goods company, developed jointly. The loan but for advertisement of a company famous is a center, generally "QRIO (KYURIO)" of Sony and "ASIMO (ASHIMO)" of Honda turn a 2-pair-of-shoes bipedal robot, and sale is new. nuvo is the height of 39cm, and the weight of 2.5km. It walks all around, and when it falls, supine and either which lies prone also rise by himself. About 1000 words of a conversation level are made to be memorized every day, and it salutes or dances according to directions. A camera is built in a face. The screen seen from the robot is checked from a going-out place using the 3rd generation cellular phone of NTT DoCoMo, and it becomes the "surveillance robot" which can also do remote control. The cost of development lessened this joint and held down the price. 3000 or more sets of sale are expected in the first year. (03/03 08:02)
  • Use the fish (Score:2, Informative)

    by orzetto (545509)
    Here is a translation in... well, something like English [altavista.com].
  • The picture supplied on the article page (If it is the robot, my japanese is rusty) shows the awesome creativity of the japanese designers. This design would never have been approved by marketing here in conservative Europe.
    • If you scroll about halfway down the asahi.com article you'll find links to videos labeled [WMP] and [REAL].

      Asimo it ain't, but interesting looking (although it seems to have trouble with the "STOP!" command...).
  • Do the dishes (Score:5, Informative)

    by IroNick (668714) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:27AM (#8450372)
    It has a funny way of walking! Watch the video [asahi.com].

    But it won't do the dishes, though...
    • Sorta odd the way the inside of its legs has those spines. I also find it interesting that instead of doing a hop up/forward design like the Sony robot, it sort of pimp strolls side to side.

      Watching through the camera I'd probably get motion sickness... but this "bad mofo sure is pimpin."

      You know... I had originally purchased an AIBO... and I was so interested in the technology. The concept was great. Autonomous robot.... V.1 - I love where this is going. Sure, this stand up robot... V.1 ... doesn't have
  • by line.at.infinity (707997) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:30AM (#8450383) Homepage Journal
    A two-legged robot that can play at home will be sold at the end of the year at 500,000 yen (less than $5,000) per robot. Robot development venture ZMP and Sportswear maker Mizuno jointly developed "nuvo" -- released on March 2.

    Among two-legged robots, Sony's QRIO and Honda's ASIMO are popular. Howver, they are mostly rented out, and serve purposes of advertisement -- not aimed at sale to the general public.

    nuvo is 39 cm tall, 2.5 kg. It can walk in all four directions, and when it falls in either direction, it can get up with its own strength. It can be taught 1,000 words for daily colloquial speech. It can also do such things as bowing and dancing upon being instructed.

    The face has a built-in camera. Using a 3G cell phone, images viewed by the robot can be confirmed, and remote operation can be practiced, making it a surveilance robot.

    Joints, which are costly to develop, were minimized to lower its price. The companies look forward to selling 3,000 items by the beginning of next year.
  • More pics & movies (Score:5, Informative)

    by News for nerds (448130) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:31AM (#8450384) Homepage
    here [impress.co.jp] of press event, hosted at PC watch. The robot can recover from fallen down state by himself. Enjoy
  • by Peeet (730301) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:36AM (#8450394)
    Michael Flatley I'm not, but I - even in my inherent inability to grasp the simplest dance steps - could hardly call that [asahi.com] dancing.

    PS - For those wondering about the video post slashdotting, imagine an akward looking slot machine with pointlessly complex legs wobbling aimlessly across a stage in a rythm and fashion in no way whatsoever resembling the happy-love-fun-time-gogogo japanese techno music playing in the background.

    Then call that "dancing".
  • Translation (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Here is a rough translation of this article. It is late, sue me. :)

    At the end of the year, for 500,000 yen (approx. $5000) it will be possible to take home a new bipedal robot. Created jointly by a venture company (ZMP) and Mizuno Sports, the NUVO, as it's called, was revealed for 2 days.

    While Sony's QRIO and Honda's ASIMO made bipedal robots famous for advertising, it is rare to have a robot directed at the general buyer.

    NUVO, stands at a height of 39 cm and has a weight of 2.5 kgs. The robot can wal
  • 500,000 Yen = 3,996.48 dollars.
  • Japan Lagging.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CodePyro (627236) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:38AM (#8450402)
    The US already has this... The Robo Sapien [solarbotics.net]...Japan is sooo behind the US in technology...they need to catch up(sarcasm)...The robosapien is much better...well atleast it looks alot better...

  • by natrius (642724)
    A sequel has just been announced for the sequel to the critically acclaimed movie, You Got Served [imdb.com]. This film, entitled You Got Served Again, will reportedly center around a group of dancing teenage robots trying to prove their worth while dealing with the challenges they encounter growing up on the tough assembly lines of Japan.
  • by PingKing (758573) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:49AM (#8450436)
    A robot that moves using two legs is a bad move designwise. While we as humans need them (or rather needed them) for traversing different types of terrain, this bipedal robot can't even do that, making it having two legs pointless.

    This is obviously a toy plain and simple, but you can't help wonder what kind of super maneveurable robot they could have created had they ploughed their efforts into something less pointless.
    • This is obviously a toy plain and simple, but you can't help wonder what kind of super maneveurable robot they could have created had they ploughed their efforts into something less pointless.

      Well, maybe they are still working on it. A reasonably mobile bipedal robot that can get up by itself would be a nice advance towards a bipedal robot that can navigate more difficult terrain, such as stairs.

      Once they get to that point, making robots bipedal will make sense... since these robots will then be able

      • Once they get to that point, making robots bipedal will make sense... since these robots will then be able to go where we go.

        No, a bipedal design is just silly. We are bipeds solely because the body plan from which we evolved only had four limbs with which to work. Compared to most other mammals -- quadripeds -- we are slow, clumsy, and prone to fall and crack our giant heads open like overripe canteloupes.

        If you want a truly sensible design, you would make a body plan with at least four legs, with the
        • If you want a truly sensible design, you would make a body plan with at least four legs, with the torso mounted in the exact center. Like a centaur, except with the human body shifted back to the middle of the horse's body instead of the front.

          And then rebuild all cars to support this new shape, or my new robot isn't going to be driving me anywhere any time soon.
  • by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:51AM (#8450449)
    Damn Babelfish... but they'll never put ME out of a job! (yet)

    Here's my translation:

    "A robot that can play in your household is going to be sold by the end of the year for roughly 5,000,000 yen. [translator's note: i.e. a lot of sushi] Both ZMP and maker of sports goods Mizuno, both having collaborated in this venture, have developed a robot called "nuvo", which was displayed to the public on the 2nd of this month.

    [translators note: the robot's actual japanese characters are a bit cheeky.... one hiragana "nu" and one katakana "bo"... so it's name actually breaks typical Japanese writing traditions)]

    Whilst the the two-legged robot "Qrio" from Sony and the "Asimo" from Honda are well-known, the marketing budgets for these robots haven't really been aimed at selling themselves to the general public.

    Nuvo comes in at 39 centimeteres , and weighs it at 2.5 kilos. It can walk backwards and forwards, as well as left and right. When it falls over it lands on its back and stays down, getting up all by itself. It remembers close to 1000 words of conversation level Japanese, and upon instruction it can bow as well as dance.

    It's head contains a built in camera. Utilising NTT DoCoMo's third generation cell phone technology, it is possible to view what the robot sees on the cell-phone's screen, technically becoming a remote control "surveillance robot".

    Through the joint venture, it's development costs were held down. It is expected to sell over 3000 units in it's first year of sales."

    So yeah, it's one damn small security robot....
  • Sony was first!!! (Score:2, Redundant)

    by PCrazee (758571)
    Sony is allways first ;)

    I've seen this about 4 or 5 month ago:

    http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/QRIO [sony.net]

  • by xangsta (75410) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:57AM (#8450465)
    Oh sweet a new era of battlebots...

    not only do the bots slug it out, you also get to hear their masters yelling commands in japanese!

    hmmm how do you say "ROBOT RIGHT CROSS" in japanese

    it'd be cooler if the robots could speak, then they could trash talk each other....it'd be a half hour of action and crazy talk
  • by kahei (466208) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:11AM (#8450501) Homepage
    A domestic robot that walks on two legs could be on the market at 500,000 yen per unit early next year. Robot development venture ZMP has teamed up with major sports equipment company Mizuno to develop the Nuvo, it was revealed on the 2nd.

    Bipedal robots such as Sony's Qrio and Honda's Asimo have already appeared but offerings directed at the general public have been rare.

    Nuvo stands 39 cm high and weighs 2.5 kg. It can walk forward, back, left and right and if it falls over it can get up no matter which way up it is. It has a conversational vocabulary of nearly 1,000 words, and can obey an instruction to bow or dance.

    The face contains an built-in camera. Using a 3rd generation NTT DoCoMo mobile phone the user can see through the robot's eye, so it can even fuction as a remote-controlled 'guard robot'.

    Price was kept low by reducing the amount of expensive-to-develop joints. The makers hope to sell upwards of 3000 units in the first year.

    ----

    Too late to karma whore, but I like translating things...

  • English article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:16AM (#8450510)
    There is an English article at the Japan times [japantimes.co.jp]
  • Legs - why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Channard (693317) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:18AM (#8450517) Journal
    If this really is intended for home use, I'd question the value of legs. Granted, this is from the land that produced Battletech and assorted Mech shows, but we've already seen a robot that can climb stairs on wheels. Surely a wheeled robot would be infinitely more stable that this one. Come home drunk and walk into a wheeled 'bot and you've stubbed your toe a bit. Walk into a walking bot and you could knock it over, damaging and possibly breaking it.
    • Re:Legs - why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by vranash (594439)
      Robotech dude, battletech was a cheap ripoff made by americans that just copied the mecha designs and eventually got their license revoked after using them in videogames without paying their royalties (or somesuch).

      -- vranash
      • FASA lost the license long before the video games came out - and not because they were breaking the license but because the people who *sold* them the license didn't have the right to do it.

        But the Robotech people were actually very nice about it - they made FASA change the names of the mecha but didn't make them change the images, which is why you can still find veritech-looking "wasps" and "stingers" and "phoenixhawks" in the Battletech board games.
  • by Moderation abuser (184013) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:35AM (#8450564)
    And it can wiggle.

    That's it?

    But can it do the dishes? Vacuum? Take out the rubbish? Press the TV channel change button?

    • OK it's just an expensive toy, but if somebody doesn't buy this robot they'll never build a better one. Remember cellular phones in the early 90s? Absurdly bulky, expensive and almost useless - who on earth bought them? Luckily for us there's an early adopter born every minute, so now we have tiny, cheap phones with batteries that last all week. Hopefully the same will be true of humanoid robots in ten years (except for the 'tiny' part - they'll have to be at least child-size to be able to cope with doors a
      • Who on earth bought them? What kinda nonsense is that? Almost useless? They were a godsend to the traveling businessman. Plenty of early 90s cell phones were deployed, you just didn't see them if you were a dorky consumer who thinks that if it's not on sale at Wal-Mart, it doesn't exist.
  • But what does it DO? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mshiltonj (220311) <<mshiltonj> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @07:00AM (#8450631) Homepage Journal
    House robots need to do just a few useful things..

    Get x
    Put x

    Get paper from curb
    Get beer from fridge
    Get book from shelf
    Get remote from table
    Get phone from cradle
    Put item into the trash
    Put toy in child's room

    Turn on/off light

    Dogs can be trained to do this stuff. Why not robots?

    Of course, it has to be able to keep itself charged.

    Robots will become even more useful and desirable when they can start doing particalar tasks:

    Wash dishes
    Take out trash
    Scrub toilet
    Change cat box
    Vacuum floor
    Do laundry

    Don't talk to me about Roomba. I'm talking about a _generally_ smart humanoid robots that is capable of using other dumb machines to accomplish a task. I wish IBM would spend research dollars on this rather than research how to play a better game of chess. (Not that don't like chess!)

    This allows for two things:

    1) If the dumbs are designed to be used by a human, then the work can done interchangebly by human or robot. Robots will be ultimately replaceable.

    Suppose you have a really competent roobmba, that keeps the floor nice and clean. So much so that you no longer have a vaccuum, becuase the roomba is the tool for the job. When the roomba breaks, you are sol.

    If you have a dedicated (potentially non-humanoid) robot for each dedicated task, we beging to lose control of our environment and become dependant on the robots.

    But an intelligent humanoid robot can step in right now and start using the tool already available to to any number of tasks.

    If the robot breaks, humans can step and clean the bathroom with the same tools the robots has been using. Or, you will only need a single set of redundant intelligence in case of failure.

    2) By keeping the intelligence (and the expense of intelligence) in a humanoid form, we gain a lot by allowing the peripheral tools to remain dumb -- and therefore cheap and "the same as it has always been."

    The Robotic Age will not look much different than the age we are in now. All of the same stuff will be in place and work the same way. It's just that there will this additional robot that does some of the work.

    As voice recognition becomes more tenable, it would be nice to put that complexity in one place for consumers. Instead of having the microwave, tv, a/c and lighting system each having their own voice recognition system -- ("TV, turn off." and "AC, set temperature to 74 degrees.") We can have a single system in a robot that can respond to our voice commands and operate all the existing dumb systems in our current households.

    In my imagination, robots like what I'm envisioning above will be significant purchases for households, on the order of a vehicle purchase. They would be financed. You would have one or two per house. They would be insured.

    • Boy, time to polish off my knowledge of Scott Adam's text adventure commands, where half the "fun" is trying to determine the right command for the job:

      > insert key
      Sorry. I can't do that.

      > put key
      Where?

      > place the key in the damn lock you bloody parser!!!
      Sorry. I don't know what that means.

      > this stupid game sucks
      Sorry. I don't know what that means.

      > unlock door
      You use the key to unlock the door. Score +1 (11 of 500).

      I wonder how long before you lose it and boot the robot across the
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Robots will become even more useful and desirable when they can start doing particalar tasks:

      Wash dishes
      Take out trash
      Scrub toilet
      Change cat box
      Vacuum floor
      Do laundry


      Just make sure you don't get the programming mixed up:

      Scrub cat
      Vacuum dishes
      Take out toilet

      etc.
    • The robot neither shits on the floor, nor jumps up on the furniture, nor humps the legs of your guests, nor runs away and gets run over by a car.
    • Robots will become even more useful and desirable when they can start doing particalar tasks:

      .

      Robot.morph("brittany_spears");
      Robot.dress("ling erie", "black", "leather");
      Robot.weild("whip", "+3hp");
      Robot.runscript("wicked_nun_fantasy");
      Robot.undress();
      Robot.submit();
      Robot.utility(" self_cleaning_mode");
      Robot.shutup();
      Robot.alar m_set("0600AM");
      Robot.sleep();
      while Robot.isAsleep
      Robot.runscript("monitor_slashdot");
      wend
      Robot. alarmoff();
      Robot.makemebreakfastdammit();

  • So far ahead on this cool stuff? Are Japanese geeks just better than their Western counterparts?

    Or is it because the West, particularly the US is "ahead" litigation wise?
  • It looks like that evil robot Maximilian [toymania.com] from that old Disney movie "The Black Hole". I'm kind of expecting it to whip out some helicoper blades and take out one of those photographers.
  • hmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by templest (705025)
    http://www.irobotnow.com ;)
  • by HarveyBirdman (627248) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @09:25AM (#8451462) Journal
    What they want is sexy, anime babe robots with which they can have sex. The first real, affordable sex robot will sell millions. Porn drove the acceptance of the VCR and the Internet. It will drive VR and robotics. Accept it.
  • Anyone else thinking "Goons fron Popeye"?

    Kinda makes that Segway look like a useful bargain at 4 bills...
  • by buckeyeguy (525140) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @10:05AM (#8451842) Homepage Journal
    it takes on the 'big wooden rollers' challenge on Takeshi's Castle ("Extreme Elimination" on SpikeTV in US). Let's see it do a face-plant on one of those logs and then smile when it gets out of the mud. Then I'll be impressed.
  • would be to have bipedal toy robots with laser-pointer guns, and program them with some of the newer bot AI from the latest FPS games.

    then set up a game map in a warehouse, and let them have a go at each other.

    nothing like that remote-controlled crud on TV.
  • Wow... looks like Asimov's vision of walking, talking home assistants isn't that far off. This robot appears to be fairly similar to what Asimov envisioned in I, Robot (I think it was I, Robot; have a hard time keeping his books differentiated in my mind)
  • This toy reminds me of the upcoming Asimov-derived movie this summer "I, Robot". [imdb.com] Its a robot crime movie with Will Smith as the human detective.
  • I've always suspected the first interesting Artificial Intelligence will be something in entertainment. I may be an character-agent in a video game or some robotic toy. Although much of the artificial intelligence R&D is driven by business and military funding, I suspect the really creative breakthough will be in more challenging "playing".

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