Japan is literally being invaded by robots. They’re tasting food and guarding stores and doing just about everything humans used to do, but are apparently now too old to do. Will Japan’s population ultimately be replaced by robots? Take a look at some of the robotic projects currently under way and judge for yourself.
NEC’s Health Food Advice Robot wants to help you eat better. She can determine the fat content in your food, tell you when your milk goes bad, and administer dietary advice in a non-judgmental robotic way. If NEC ever merges with Fujitsu I suspect they’ll license the HOAP Robot’s ability to make facial expressions. Imagine your Health Food Advisor raising her eyebrows as you reach for that second helping of ice cream.
As Japan’s population gets older there are fewer young people available to take some of the higher risk jobs like security guard. Fortunately Sogho Security Services’Guardrobo D1 will soon be stepping in to guard department stores and factories. The Guardrobo has the ability to detect leaks and comes equipped with a fire extinguisher, and presumably the knowledge to actually use it in a timely manner should something he’s guarding catch on fire. It’s not clear what happens if someone steals the robot.
Speecy’s of Tokyo has produced the world’s first fuel cell robot. The eco-friendly robot is powered by Hydrogen canisters and never needs charging. This will almost certainly create a new market for a robot canister changing robot.
If the robot from Hiroshima’s research lab ever makes it out of the lab and onto a baseball diamond we’ll probably forget all about Barry Bonds and the steroid issue. The Baseballbotcan hit a 300khm fastball. As a single tool player he’ll probably have to play DH.
Bonds isn’t the only pro athlete with competition. A company called Nirvana Technology is working on a golf playing robot. This makes perfect sense when you consider that robots are now performing brain surgery. They may be robots, but they’re also doctors and they’ll need a hobby.
I could go on, but honestly there are probably half a dozen new robots on the streets of Tokyo since I started writing this article. I suspect I’ll soon hire a robot to write this blog.