Variable man

PKDrobot.jpgThe Economist reports that in Japan, increasing importance is being placed on robots that look and act like humans. The article further argues that the focus on humanoid robots is driven, at least in part, by a desire to avoid the culture’s strong social conventions.

Karl MacDorman, another researcher at Osaka, sees similar social forces at work. Interacting with other people can be difficult for the Japanese, he says, “because they always have to think about what the other person is feeling, and how what they say will affect the other person.” But it is impossible to embarrass a robot, or be embarrassed, by saying the wrong thing.

Meanwhile, Wired offer their list of the ‘50 Best Robots Ever‘.

Is this robot week or something?

Link to Economist article ‘Better than people’.
Link to Wired article ‘The 50 Best Robots Ever’.
Link to previous post on the ‘Uncanny Valley’ in robot design.

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