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Japan Robotics Hardware

Japanese Build Robot Toddlers 81

Posted by timothy
from the soft-spot-is-not-the-reset-hole dept.
kgeiger writes "The Japanese birth dearth may be crashing their population and rendering kids a rarity, but never fear! Robotics researchers at Osaka University are building robot babies to learn how people are supposed to interact with young children. For anyone who has raised real kids, cyberkiddies would seem a cheat unless they come with "why? Why? WHY?" and "No!" infinite loops and no OFF switch."
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Japanese Build Robot Toddlers

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  • by Nuno Sa (1095047)

    Tamagochi v2.0? :-)

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      "no OFF switch" - makes me think of Max Headroom [maxheadroom.com].

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:00PM (#35182544)

    For anyone who has raised real kids, cyberkiddies would seem a cheat unless they come with "why? Why? WHY?" and "No!" infinite loops and no OFF switch.

    Like cars are cheating if they don't eat hay and crap in the street.

  • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:02PM (#35182560)

    and wasn't it a really really horrible mess?

    • Dunno. When I was watching the movie, they accidentally put in the last roll in reverse. Oddly, it made more sense that way...

  • Since it's well-known that toddlers can break any electronic device, even if they have no buffer-overflow vulnerabilities, what will happen when the toddlers themselves are electronic? Will they spontaneously break, or be a super-race that cannot be defeated?
  • by blair1q (305137) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:09PM (#35182598) Journal

    It's only an accurate simulation if 3/4ths of the robot kids are delivered 9 months after a surprise announcement that the recipient was getting one.

    • by Velex (120469)

      I'm sure I'm going to get modded offtopic, but it's amazing to me that in the 21st century there are females out there in 1st world countries who refuse to get any control over their reproductive systems.

      Then again, how do you explain to someone that believes that contraception is killing unborn babies that as part of a female's normal cycle, an unfertilized egg is discarded each month? There again, my folks accused me of the murder of their unborn grandkids (their! as though it was something that woul

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Well, granted, the pill isn't 100% effective. And not everyone enjoys putting artificial hormones into their bodies. In some people it has some pretty adverse affects. Granted, there's lot of other options. I think that things like condoms are a much better option. Not only does it protect against pregnancy, but it also protects against disease. And it doesn't require anybody to modify the chemistry of their body.
        • by tehcyder (746570)

          I think that things like condoms are a much better option

          Condoms are even further from being 100% effective than the pill.

      • by Thing 1 (178996)
        I agree with you. That piece of flesh is something I miss every day.
        • I agree with you. That piece of flesh is something I miss every day.

          I guess it depends upon your definition of "necessary."

          • by Thing 1 (178996)

            I agree with you. That piece of flesh is something I miss every day.

            I guess it depends upon your definition of "necessary."

            No it doesn't; I miss it regardless of how much I will or won't use it. It was tragically taken from me without my consent. "Necessary" doesn't enter into it; it was mine.

  • It won't work... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jason18 (1973154) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:15PM (#35182630)
    How can you study this kind of thing using robots? No matter what you do, you can't simulate small children well enough to make people act the same around the robot as a real kid. It's a nice concept, but it'll never get anything done except entertain. Plus I bet we'll never hear about this again in the US.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hort_wort (1401963)

      How can you study this kind of thing using robots? No matter what you do, you can't simulate small children well enough to make people act the same around the robot as a real kid. It's a nice concept, but it'll never get anything done except entertain. Plus I bet we'll never hear about this again in the US.

      I remember reading how when people encounter a robot for the first time, they avoid eye contact out of respect until they realize it's a robot they're talking to. All you have to fool is the casual observer to get human reactions. But then, even a casual observer may notice a disembodied head being atypical....

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well sure it does. I'm working in Japan now, and this place is pretty terrible towards its workers.

      Young people don't want to have kids because they are paid rotten salaries, overworked, and their job security isn't that great.... (women are still expected to "retire" when they get married or have a kid!) lol

      If the government forced employers to adhere to proper employment laws, allowed and encouraged unions, and made work family friendly -- they wouldn't need robot kids!

      • allowed and encouraged unions

        Allowed, encouraged, and regulated unions, you mean. Contrary to popular belief, unions are not a panacea.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          allowed and encouraged unions

          Allowed, encouraged, and regulated unions, you mean. Contrary to popular belief, unions are not a panacea.

          Any union's better than no unions, except for the handful of rich property owners at the top of the chain, you dumb fuck.

    • Um, these guys [realityworks.com] would probably disagree with you. They've been around for over a decade and are doing quite well I believe.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday February 11, 2011 @09:17PM (#35182638) Journal
    Now I don't know whether I should be stocking up on EMP weapons or coathangers in order to battle the robot uprising. Thanks a lot, Japan.
    • Now I don't know whether I should be stocking up on EMP weapons or coathangers in order to battle the robot uprising. Thanks a lot, Japan.

      It'll be easy now, just don't put plug protectors over your electrical sockets and the uprisers will take care of themselves.

    • by BA16 (950144)
      I'd suggest flame-throwers and grenades, but Tickle Me Elmo faired that hurdle rather well and he was only a Level 3 infant type.
  • That's funny. People being trained for parenthood was the exact plot of one of the segments of the film Robot Stories [imdb.com].

    (and iirc, the parent trainees were Japanese)

  • It is a cheat as well unless one has to see the truly inhuman, strait from the 7th level of hell evil that is the result of what a baby's intestines does to the humble mango.... I still have nightmares...
    • by tivoKlr (659818)

      That's right. If the little motherfucker doesn't shit, urinate, and projectile vomit, IT IS NOT REAL.
      If it's all unicorns and candy and fun, made from carbon fiber, plastic and has a battery, it's not real.

  • For anyone who has raised real kids, cyberkiddies would seem a cheat...

    We prefer to call it 'asexual reproduction'. For most of us here, it's the only option we have!

  • Kids have off switches too they just come with a whole load of legal complications.
  • Lets fit them with a homicidal hunter/killer AI and unleash hordes (HORDES!) of them on our enemies in one of our wars! Then we'd be talking!
    • by Jeremi (14640)

      Lets fit them with a homicidal hunter/killer AI and unleash hordes (HORDES!) of them on our enemies in one of our wars! Then we'd be talking!

      Cool! Philip K. Dick is alive and posting to Slashdot!

  • Of course they have an "off" switch. You're just not allowed to use it.
  • I thought it was "Japanese robots build toddlers" ...which would have been much more interesting.
  • You pay an initial fee for the robot (birth), then roughly one third to one half of your take-home pay goes to the manufacturer to pay for the maturity updates (rearing) and service packs (education).

    Hopefully you can at least beat the fuck out of this version without CPS getting involved.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      You pay an initial fee for the robot (birth), then roughly one third to one half of your take-home pay goes to the manufacturer to pay for the maturity updates (rearing) and service packs (education).

      Hopefully you can at least beat the fuck out of this version without CPS getting involved.

      Or, alternatively, you could choose not to have kids and then fucking whine about it afterwards.

  • Japans are great in. They build everything, they are so clever
  • Well, with their birth-rate this was kind of inevitable. Kind of awesome too. Future labor shortage averted!
    • by Jonah Hex (651948)

      Even though it would be a huge personal sacrifice, I am willing to impregnate as many Japanese women as needed to reverse their birth dearth.

      Dearth... who says that anymore? Funny word... dearth, dearth, dearth.

      HEX

  • Do they detect the proximity of the car navigation system and enter an infinite loop saying: ''Are we there yet ?''
  • I call dibs on making an army of toddler-robots. They will take over the world with childish cuteness and lasers.
  • Why do I suddenly want to buy a copy of Dead Space 2?

  • Sure, it may be higher tech but we've had dolls that simulate the trials and tribulations of having a baby for decades. They're handed out to teenagers to teach them that they aren't mature enough to handle having children yet.

  • Get a cat instead, they probably work better.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Get a cat instead, they probably work better.

      Plus cats bring you presents. Admittedly they tend to be dead mice or crippled birds, but i's the thought that counts...

  • I recall a science fiction story where the Chinese invented a realistic robot toddler. The US government, in its infinite wisdom, made a law that anyone who wanted to have a real kid had to care for one of these robot kids for a period of time. To make a long story short, after a generation the Chinese Army rolled in and took over the depopulated United States.

    • To make a long story short, after a generation the Chinese Army rolled in and took over the depopulated United States.

      That may very well happen, but it won't take another generation. It wish it would, though ... then I could retire and die and not worry about it.

    • by tehcyder (746570)
      [citation needed] please

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