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Joe Engelberger Disses Japan Robotics

Posted 5 Dec 2005 at 04:14 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

At the recent International Robot show in Tokyo, Joe Engelberger, the "Father of Robotics" and creator of the first robotics company, dissed the state of Japanese robotics as just do-nothing toys and dolls. He says their robots are pointless, expensive and unnecessary for Japan. Mr Engelberger believes the reason for the sad state of robotics in Japan is because their companies are immersed in needless research and derides them for making humanoid toy-like robots. Mr. Engelberger is now over 80 years old and is unsatisfied with the slow technical growth of Japanese robot companies and pleas for the robotics companies to "hurry up!"


harsh, posted 5 Dec 2005 at 12:58 UTC by c6jones720 » (Master)

I think thats a bit harsh considering the contributions Japan has made to the field. Saying that building humanoid robots is merely toy making devalues the work thats been put into it and technology offshoots such as rehabilitation machines for the disabled.

GoRobotics, posted 5 Dec 2005 at 14:27 UTC by steve » (Master)

William of GoRobotics.com and I exchanged a couple of emails about this story over the weekend. He posted something on it Saturday. My opinion is that Joe is more of an "industrial robotics" guy who believes robots should be task specific machines rather than a fan of general purpose humanoid robots. We often have the same arguments at local robot group meetings. I tend to think we'll end up with both kinds of robots eventually but many think we have to choose one or the other. Favor one side and you get the sort of cheerleading for one side and dissing of the other side that we see hear.

robot toys are a necessary step in evolution, posted 6 Dec 2005 at 07:59 UTC by bvdborgh » (Master)

Robot toys are a necessary step in the evolution towards robots who can guide disabled persons, go to hazardous places, can do dangerous jobs, etc. To build up the necessary knowledge it is a good idea to build entertainment robots.

the future, posted 6 Dec 2005 at 12:46 UTC by c6jones720 » (Master)

Well I always thought that there would come a time when the two types of robots would be indistinguishable from each other. After all for some people their goal is to create a general purpose robot.

I wonder..., posted 6 Dec 2005 at 16:52 UTC by steve » (Master)

Joe makes fun them as toys now but I wonder if someday he'll own a Japanese import humanoid to help him out around the house. After all, he probably won't be able to buy a US-made one... ;-)

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