Thursday, December 6, 2007

Does that robot need a diaper change?

From: PC World

"Fair Spotlights Robots that Can Teach and Play:
Robots play ping-pong, feed babies, and train dental students in demos at Tokyo's annual Robot Exhibition"

"TOKYO - Find a high-tech ping-pong pal, see an android patient twitch in pain and experience breast feeding, even if you're a man.
Showcasing around 1,000 industrial and service robots, the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo confirmed that Japan is hooked on androids, which manufacturers are seeking to adapt to the needs of an aging society and a sliding population.
Employees of Yamazaki Co, an educational goods company, were busy nursing four baby robots who cried and burped.
The $620 robots, imported from the United States, help teach students and soon-to-be parents how to care for infants.
"Opportunities to see kids in society are decreasing," said Kaoru Nukui of Yamazaki Co, referring to a sharp fall-off in births that means many Japanese families have only one child.
"The way students would touch a baby would be completely different once they have looked, touched, and experienced this 'baby'," he added, then demonstrated how men can feel what breast feeding is like by putting a nipple-like sensor on his chest.
Nearby, a long-haired, fair-skinned female android on a dentist's chair drew the crowds. Simroid, a $635,000 simulator was developed as a dummy patient for dental students..."
Read the full article @:,140197-c,artificialintelligence/article.html

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