Wednesday, December 12, 2007


They're making robots in Japan.

The link will take you to a news story about some robots. You should watch both of the video clips, because they are apparently two (or maybe 3, or 4) completely different robots.

The one is a pair of identical robots called Asimo (Japanese for "legs"). They work in conjunction with one another and the video shows them serving drinks from a serving cart. They need a special customized tray to be able to move the drinks without dropping them, and the drinks have spill-proof tops like you get when you get coffee from a take-out coffee place.

The other set look like aliens. At least, their faces do, they have those big eyes you see on aliens. They don't seem to be the same as the others. These are doing even more imaginative and less useful tasks than the Honda ones. One of them plays the violin. The other looks like a girl robot. She doesn't have legs and the bottom part of her is made to look like she is wearing a floor-length skirt. She talks (in Japanese, so I don't know what she says) and then apparently signs her name on a card that is given to her.

I think they are making a big mistake. Though my husband might actually find a need for a robot that will bring him a drink (he's always asking me to pour him something to drink), I'd much prefer a robot that could do laundry, load (and unload) the dishwasher, make the kids' lunches, pick up stray socks, empty the trash, wash windows, bring me the phone, take my empty drink glass to the kitchen, etc. They've succeeded in making a mass-marketable robot that will vacuum your house, clean your pool, even clean your gutters. When are we going to get Rosie? I could use a robot housekeeper much more than I need a robot who can play the violin.

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