Man, what is it with Japan, robots, and the elderly? We've been hearing about projects like RI-MAN
for years now. And sure, it looks good on paper -- design an ultra-realistic
(or ultra-cute) robot, stick it in a room with the unloved elderly person in your life, and forget about the lot of 'em. The problem? Apparently the aforementioned "olds" don't like it one bit. In fact, it seems that they'd prefer a stuffed animal
. Not to be outdone by this admittedly low-tech solution, Fujitsu has built a prototype Teddy that features a camera for face tracking, a network of touch sensors, and a catalog of 300 responses to various stimulus -- "which range from giggling and laughing, waving its paws around, and pretending to fall asleep complete with recorded snores," according to SlashGear
. Another possible use for the as-yet-unnamed bear would be for school children. Who wuvs our cuddly robot overlords? We do, don't we? Yes we do...