Nippon TV is gearing up for the Real Robot Battle program, scheduled for broadcast here in Japan on Friday, December 13th starting at 7:00 pm. The humanoid robot competitors have been designed, and will be piloted by several of the top ROBO-ONE and university teams on the scene.
To generate more interest and enthusiasm, two of the life sized robots are currently displayed in Nippon TV’s 2nd floor lobby along with the championship belt. It’s hard to get a feel for the robots size from the photo. They are actually around 2 meters tall and weigh over 200 Kg (440 lbs).
Limor Schweitzer, the founder of Robosavvy - one of the most popular online sources of information, know-how, and humanoid robot parts/kits, was just featured on Bloomberg Televisions where he introduced “Fonzie” the dancing robot. Limor also explained how Robosavvy uses "Fonzie" and their other humanoids to develop research platforms for human-robot interaction.
SANKYO, one of the leading Japanese suppliers of Pachinko equipment, has a new video featuring Yasuko Sawaguchi with a cute humanoid robot.
Like most Japanese television commercials it's hard to tell exactly what the connection is between the video content any actual product of trying to sell. Most Japanese television commercials are highly stylised and "good feeling – good image" in contrast to the commercials we see in the US.
The commercial doesn't show any additional information about the robot, though it appears from the design that Takahashi was probably involved somehow. It really has a close resemblance to his work.
There is no question that rapidly advancing robot and AI technology are enabling companies to bring back work previously done overseas, especially in China. At the same time, they are eliminating the need for human involvement in the manufacturing and assembly processes, no matter where the 'manufacturing' takes place.
This excellent "Are Robots Hurting Job Growth?" segment on 60 Minutes explains the accelerating trend along with the benefits and the challenges it's creating. In the end, it may pose more of a severe problem for blue collar workers in China, India, and Asia than it will for their counterparts in 1st World nations, though no one will be able to completely escape its impact.
If I had to make one critical observation about the 60 minutes segment it would be to say that the title, "Are robots hurting job growth?", is misleading. To understand what is really taking place, and the eventual impact on individuals, governments, and societies, we need to take a much deeper, and more focused, approach. Robots, or more specifically 'robotics', is only a tool or technology.
The real 'problem', if we consider it to be a problem, is our focus on ever increasing efficiency and profitability, apparently without regard or a second thought to the impact on the quality of human life in general.
The success of the movie " AVATAR" proved that computer simulated actors could eventually replace their human counterparts. We're not there yet, but we're definitely on the way. It's only a matter of time.
But, what's it going to be like for the robot actors and actresses of the future? Will they face the same trials and tribulations, the same stresses? Looks like were going to find out…
The Kondo KHR-3HV humanoid robot was selected by AU, a major Japanese cellphone network provider, for a new iPhone commercial embodying the hopeful, creative, enthusiastic spirit of up and coming young Japanese.