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Japan's 2007 Robot of the Year goes to...

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Putin. Ok, actually another stoic, semi-autonomous critter is the winner of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) 2007 Robot of the Year award. The grand prize goes to the work-horse, industrial robot from Fanuc Ltd. called M-430iA. The multi-axis, greaseless (read: sanitary) robot is part of a food and pharmaceutical handling system. Unlike your unemployed uncle with his GED, this bot can work non-stop, 24 hours a day, accurately picking up 120 items per minute as they roll down a conveyor belt. Other winners are the dancing Miuro in the small- to medium-sized venture category and Matsushita's blood-toting HOSPI bot. The latter apparently winning due to its unique position to assimilate the human race. Hey, anyone else smell polonium?

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