Sunday, September 27, 2009

Robot's public defender

robot on street

Even though Japan is the unrivaled world pioneer of robot tech, Japanese robot engineers have a hard time taking their bots to public places, like streets, squares, or shopping centers. Local police have put the smackdown on various public robot displays over the years, so now the Japanese cities Fukuoka and Kitakyushu have received a "Robot Tokku". Tokku are the new deregulated zones designated by the Koizumi government, and a robot tokku enables the testing of robots in the public environment — a must to develop consumer-friendly robot helpers. The first project under the new zones enabled a robot to go shopping in a busy Fukuoka district. Actually when you think about, the only thing that's bizarre about this story is that it wasn't already legal to hang out with your robot in public places.

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