Thursday, February 08, 2007

Yuki-taro autonomous snowplow robot

The friendly-looking Yuki-taro measures 160 x 95 x 75 cm (63 x 37 x 30 in.) and weighs 400 kg (880 lbs). Armed with GPS and a pair of video cameras embedded in its eyes, the self-guided robot seeks out snow and gobbles it up into its large mouth.

The Japanese seem to realize that one of the crucial first steps toward making robots commonplace is making them appeal to our sense of "cute." I can imagine whole robot-friendly cities arising in which every appliance has the sterile charm of Hello Kitty.

1 comment:

W.M. Bear said...

I can envision a form of future techno-vandalism that consists in going around "bashing" (shall we say cleverly but violently disabling) cutesy robots. The cutesier they are, the more bashable they are.