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University of Tokyo crafts tea-grabbing humanoid to serve you better

Darren Murph
March 1, 2007
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If you've got a domesticated service bot around to flip your channels and chase away any uninvited intruders, there's not too much else a lonely, elderly individual needs from a fellow humanoid, but researchers at the University of Tokyo are crafting more lifelike and more agile servant bots nevertheless. In an effort to create a tactical team of droids ready and willing to serve the aging population of Japan, the team is working with Kawada Industries Inc. to create friendly robots that can assist folks with around the house chores such as pouring tea and cleaning the dishes. Several models were out and about during a recent demonstration, as one wheeled bot delivered beverages to its master, and other renditions responded to human movements and the bevy of sensors installed in the floor and sofa of a room. Essentially, the team is attempting to seamlessly integrate robotic life with our world, and they're already prepared to feel a lashing from privacy advocates who will protest the embedded camera systems that the robots feed off of. Still, we'd rather have a potentially Big Brother-equipped servant to make sure our favorite dramas get recorded than no one at all.

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