Think of it as home automation but on a far larger scale: The Small Robotics Building project is a joint undertaking by Shimizu Corp and Yasukawa Electric Corp in Japan. Utilizing smart infrastructure technology and robotics, the companies are creating an automated living environment that can handle such duties as reception, deliveries, cleaning, and security, without the need for human intervention. Instead of relying on individual robots to perform functions like human detection and device control, all this is handled by the building-wide network, which then dispatches robots to perform various tasks. Sure, this all sounds very High Rise, but don't start mulling over notions of postmodern alienation yet: all we have right now is a demo called the Smart Showroom, where visitors are greeted by an adorable robot, who gives a little presentation while involving spoken explanations and a projector. Sounds innocent enough, right?

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Robotic smart buildings under development in Japan, J.G. Ballard says 'told ya'