Friday, August 7, 2009

What's Behind Japan's Love Affair with Robots?

'Miimu,' a HRP-4C robot, models a wedding dress by Japanese designer Yumi Katsura at Katsura's 2009 Paris Grand Collection in Osaka, Japan, on July 22, 2009. Junji Kurokawa / AP

From Time Magazine:

If Japanese engineers had their way, we might soon be cheering on a robotic World Series. Every year or two, Japanese researchers roll out a new robotic invention — the latest to grab headlines earlier this month was a mechanized baseball duo of a batter and pitcher that can throw 90% of its pitches in the strike zone. And while the majority of Japanese robotic inventions — from the dazzling to the horrifying —have largely been unable to break into the mass market, Japanese scientists aren't likely to short-circuit their robotic ambitions anytime soon: Robotic technology plays a larger role in Japan than anywhere else in the world.

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