In yet another example of high-tech Japan shooting its own labor pool in the foot, Aizu Central Hospital in the Fukushima prefecture has hired two new types of robots to replace workers in a medical field that is already seeing itself become increasingly mechanized. Now that hospital staff from doctors to nurses to blood handlers have found themselves facing low-maintenance, high-stamina robotic competition, it's only natural that cost-conscious facilities would start going after receptionists next, and thus Aizu decided to pick up a pair of multicolored bots to dole out information and guide patients to their rooms. The taller and heavier blue bot is apparently fond of donuts and gossip, and was therefore assigned to sit on its shiny metal ass at a reception desk, while the slimmer green bot -- pictured above, looking like a cross between PaPeRo and Stewie Griffin -- is tasked with roaming the halls and lugging around visitors' bags. The irony here is that once Japan is able to replace its entire workforce with mechanical alternatives, the overwhelming army of unemployed citizens won't have enough money to afford things like food, electronics, and healthcare anyway, leaving the country with fully-staffed factories, hospitals, and restaurants -- but no one to serve.

[Via Plastic Bamboo]

INHD1 and INHD2 to be rolled into one?