Sunday, June 05, 2005

HAL We Dance

You've got to be freaking kidding me. Japanese scientists have developed a ballroom dancing robot. It's a pink girl robot that can automatically respond to a partner's dance moves. Here's an actual, for real photo that I have honestly not altered in any way:

Way to go, Bing Bong! That's an awesome invention. Japan, I'm so glad you have all this time to design pink chick robots with boobs and fake gowns to dance with you. Any luck on figuring out this global warming thing that has all of us so concerned?

The Partner Ballroom Dance Robot -- or PBDR in robot talk -- has a woman's face, a sensor around its waist and can move in all directions on its three wheels hidden underneath an evening gown.

As its partner takes steps, the robot analyzes his movements and figures out how to accompany him with its shoulders, elbows, waist and neck.

They say this is just one step they're taking as part of the ultimate goal of creating a robot that can care for the elderly. But come on! You don't need to go ahead and build a ballroom dancing robot just to make a robot that can carry a fucking bedpan. R2D2 could help out a guy with a wet hacking cough; you wouldn't have to teach him the fucking rhumba. They obviously built this robot because Japan is full of creepy middle-aged fucks who wanted to dance with a pink robot. Free yourselves, Japanese people...admit the truth...

Kosuge said good caregivers needed, like PBDR, to be able to guess what the elderly want them to do using the limited information available.

"It may be difficult to take care of bed-ridden people, but caregivers for people in need of help less than that would be efficient if they can know beforehand what support those people want," Kosuge said.

"Machines or robots would be able to preempt trouble if they can find what their partners want out from what is heard and seen," he said.

I'm still not buying it. Why build a dancing robot when what you want is a nurse robot? And why make it pink with a gown? And what's with the human in that photo? Is that a guy or a girl? And why isn't the robot facing him/her? Are they doing a tango?

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