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Robots: Where Are They Now?
July 17, 2007 11:44 PM   Subscribe

Bots've come a long way, baby. So everybody knows about Honda's flashy ASIMO, and the sadly canceled QRIO, but now Wakamaru, Mitsubishi's entry into the field, seems to have been first among semi-autonomous humanoid robots to find a job. I wish it luck, but it might need to grow up a little. Maybe it can learn from Domo, son of Cog, robot of yore.
posted by StrikeTheViol (15 comments total)

 
Previously Discussed Here.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 11:48 PM on July 17, 2007


thanks for post!
I saw an asimo up at carnegie melon during a tour of the robotics institute. i was told nobody there was interested in asimo because of its unnatural/inefficient way of moving. it was just left under a dust cover. they have so many other robots to play with.
posted by bhnyc at 12:33 AM on July 18, 2007


Wakamaru kind of looks like a chocobo.

[smells like chocobo!]
posted by stavrogin at 1:20 AM on July 18, 2007


Are the main features a burglar alarm + alarm clock + appointment calendar nag + old folks minder?

"Yes, Wakamaru, I'm still on the toilet. No, Wakamaru, there's no need to email anyone about it. Why don't you go make sure grandma's still alive or something?" And five minutes later, the robot comes back to announce through the bathroom door that "Grandma says you should eat more fruit."

I would rather have a big aquarium full of robotic fish the size of guppies and larger that chase and eat one another (or robotic submarines and surface vessels the size of guppies that play search-and-destroy all day). Robotic flowers that actually grow with materials they build from solar energy and special robot plant food you give them. Pet toys that stalk and run from (and learn from) household cats, or maybe things that crawl up walls and drop down on unsuspecting dogs and ride them through the house at a hundred miles an hour yelling "run, you fat chocolate munching couch doggie bastard!" I don't need a yellow manikin following me around to make sure I remain predictable.
posted by pracowity at 3:13 AM on July 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wakamaru kind of looks like a crybaby.

* feels urge to punch sad, stupid face and steal lunch money *
posted by uandt at 3:16 AM on July 18, 2007


Who needs bots when most of the people in China and on the Indian subcontinent will work for $2.00/day.

Or to put it this way, there wil be no economic incentive to significantly advance the science of robotics with a human workforce available at $2.00/day.
posted by mygoditsbob at 4:11 AM on July 18, 2007


mygoditsbob, maybe not in China - but what about North American factories and fast food joints? There's still loads of menial simple work in North America.

There'll be a huge robot revolution soon, but where are the US/European companies?
posted by niccolo at 6:20 AM on July 18, 2007


there wil be no economic incentive to significantly advance the science of robotics with a human workforce available at $2.00/day.

But these are for person-to-"person" work, not for manufacturing products offshore, and you aren't going to get an employee to live and work in Tokyo for two dollars a day. First link:
Wakamaru’s paycheck can reach as high as 120,000 yen ($1,000) per day for short-term gigs, but the wage decreases dramatically for longer-term contracts, to as low as 3 million yen ($25,000) for one year, which is on par with a flesh-and-bone human temp worker.
Except that a human receptionist won't work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year like a robot slave will work.
posted by pracowity at 6:39 AM on July 18, 2007


Unlike Asimo the arseless wonder, Wabian-2 (YouTube clip, 1st half) has a proper set of hips, and thus doesn't walk like it's suffering from constipation.
posted by PsychoKick at 8:13 AM on July 18, 2007



there wil be no economic incentive to significantly advance the science of robotics with a human workforce available at $2.00/day.

But these are for person-to-"person" work, not for manufacturing products offshore, and you aren't going to get an employee to live and work in Tokyo for two dollars a day. First link:

Wakamaru’s paycheck can reach as high as 120,000 yen ($1,000) per day for short-term gigs, but the wage decreases dramatically for longer-term contracts, to as low as 3 million yen ($25,000) for one year, which is on par with a flesh-and-bone human temp worker.

Except that a human receptionist won't work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year like a robot slave will work.


Not to mention no healthcare, 401k, sick time, temps, etc. (just a service contract with manufacturer(
posted by Debaser626 at 8:19 AM on July 18, 2007


Don't forget your prehistoric robotosauruses.
posted by daHIFI at 9:06 AM on July 18, 2007


Not to mention no healthcare, 401k, sick time, temps, etc. (just a service contract with manufacturer)

Of course, TempBots come with their own challenges.
posted by Staggering Jack at 9:24 AM on July 18, 2007


"wakamaru" can sends e-mail to the address specified beforehand if he detects a moving objects around him while you are away.

wakamaru can has found a lolcatburglar!
posted by Anything at 5:10 PM on July 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ah, oh, daHIFI, I sooo want one of those things!!! I only came in here to add a link to Pleo, but you beat me to it.

And Anything made me laugh out loud for the first time today. Thanks!!! :)
posted by gemmy at 6:05 PM on July 18, 2007


I have a load of other robot links, but I'll save them for a better post... still have to find my rhythm.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:18 PM on July 18, 2007


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