Wakamaru, the mutil-function service robot developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries close to a decade ago has never seemed to gain much traction or use outside of research labs and universities. While Wakamaru is extremely cute, most observers agreed that it didn’t really address a compelling customer need, especially at it’s USD$14,000 price point.
A tweet earlier today by @rani_chocobreak seems to provide visual confirmation that Wakamaru may have reached the end of its rope. According to the tweet, there are quite a few Wakamaru robots stored in the garbage collection area at an unnamed Japanese university.
大学のゴミ捨て場に凄まじいものが捨ててあった pic.twitter.com/slCOpZzuRZ— らに (@rani_chocobreak) June 23, 2014
Here’s the online version of the Yomiuri Shimbun article reporting on the Japanese government strategy to boost low-cost robots - http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140615-00050113-yom-bus_all.
Basically the information is the same as we reported in the previous post, though there are a few more specifics. The article also mentions a proposed robot competition, tentatively named “Robot Olympics”, the government plans to stage in conjunction with the Tokyo Olympics and ParaOlympics in 2020. Needless to say the IOC will make them come up with a different name as it has in the past with other robot events.
The Tokyo MakerCamp, organised by Tokyo Hackerspace and MONO, was a big success with over 100 registered participants. The basic agenda was free form following the BarCamp model, with participants dynamically proposing topics they wanted to discuss.
MONO has particularly good luck using NITTO double sided tape to secure prints when 3D printing.
Bandai announced that "Chogokin Hello Kitty” with Rocket Punch will go on sale in Japan this June. Pricing and availability outside the country isn't available at this time.
Deagostini Japan and Mitsui Sumitomo bank are introducing a Robi branded VISA credit card in Japan next month. The introductory campaign includes Robi branded items including a mini Robi figure and Quo prepaid cards featuring an original Robi design.
Needless to say, the promotion is only open to Japan residents.