- The phrase "capable of non-autonomously operating a backhoe" in this slashdot story about dancing Japanese robots.
- This beer-pouring robot I had the good fortune to encounter in the United lounge at Narita. (Warning:
45mb1MB file with no nudity. Also not a real robot; just a fancy soda machine, although the two pouring angles and the separate "head" nozzle are a nice touch.) UPDATE: apologies for my jetlag-induced idiocy. Windows Movie Maker compressed it to 2% its original size. Doh! Download Robotender.wmv
It is, of course, not news that the Japanese have a thing for robots. It is, however, getting worse. Way worse. Like robot overlord worse. Because this is a blog, I can advance three random reasons for why this might be:
- History. Japan is an industrial nation with a high-cost labor force. It also has a tradition of being insular, if not xenophobic. How to grow the nation's industrial capacity without importing foreign workers? Robots.
- Demographics. Japan is the oldest country in the world. Old people need assistance, and the erosion of the traditional family structure means that there aren't necessarily younger people around to help. What's the solution? Robots.
PS: Am I the only one to think it's slightly ironic that while the bartender has been replaced by a machine, women are still employed to bow in the elevator lobby?