Saturday, October 15, 2005


Old News is good news since there's no new news now. Say that five times fast!

Wakamaru was released a little over a month ago in Japan. He's a household robot meant to provide cheerful daily interactions with the user. He's a smart little bugger that can apparently memorize the layouts of internal spaces, intuitively grasp your daily schedule (does he understand weekends?) and communicate with you using a pretty advanced Natural Language system.

I'm surprised to notice that he seems to have no visual-display system, which must make it difficult for him to communicate some concepts both to the owner and (in the case of a malfunction) to a technician. It's also interesting to see that his arms possess four degrees of freedom but appear to have no way of grasping an object, being limited to gesturing and pointing.

Cute, attractive, and on sale now, I don't think Wakamaru speaks English yet, but he might be learning soon. He's priced at US$14,000 right now. I expect that home robotics in the next five years will go through the same massive technology shifts and ability upgrades that home computing went through in the 90s, so even if I had the money right now I doubt I'd be picking up one of our little yellow friends.

Wakamaru ready to join the family []

Wakamaru English Product Page []

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