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September 13, 2006

Robots in sickness and in health

robot hospital

A couple of items from the world of robots...

In Japan there's now a robot hospital. The Kazawa Roboclinic in Osaka is set up to deal with your limping Aibo or catatonic Robosapien. Personal robot toys are a BIG deal in Japan, and some people can become VERY attached to their little robot buddies, so the Roboclinic is feeling a real need.

Japanese roboticists are also working on giving robots better manners. The Humanoid Robotics Centre at Waseda University in Tokyo is looking at how people interact with robots, and vice versa. The theory is that robot servants are going to become a bigger and bigger part of our lives, and we want them to make our lives easier, not more annoying. That means teaching robots thousands of little human foibles, like that it's OK to vacuum your rug, but not when your asleep on the couch.

There's a great article on making robots more humane in the current issue of New Scientist magazine.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at September 13, 2006 09:38 PM

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