Utilitarian or Humanoid Robots?

Posted 16 Nov 2004 at 22:02 UTC by steve Share This

There's a short editorial in the Japan Times Online about the growing proliferation of robots of all kinds. The editorial suggests that the US is concentrating on utilitarian robots like vacuum cleaners and autonomous miltary vehicles perhaps because of a "Frankenstein complex" that makes people fear humanoid robots. Japan, meanwhile, is approaching robotics in a spirit of fun rather than fear and has become the world leader in humanoid robotics. The editorial also notes that Japan's view of robotics lines up nicely with Isaac Asimov's while, ironiclly, the US-made film, I, Robot, does an injustice to Asimov's view, following instead the fearful "American" view of robots. But the article also notes that there is a lot of common ground between the American and Japanese approaches as well and both are begining to produce useful robots.

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