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Robot Love Goes Bad 101

hundredrabh writes "Ever had a super needy girlfriend that demanded all your love and attention and would freak whenever you would leave her alone? Irritating, right? Now imagine the same situation, only with an asexual third-generation humanoid robot with 100kg arms. Such was the torture subjected upon Japanese researchers recently when their most advanced robot, capable of simulating human emotions, ditched its puppy love programming and switched over into stalker mode. Eventually the researchers had to decommission the robot, with a hope of bringing it back to life again."


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Robot Love Goes Bad

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Monday March 09, 2009 @02:58PM (#27124871) Journal

    Toshiba Akimu Robotic Research Institute

    It's awfully convenient I can't find anything on this place in English aside from news stories ... are there any Japanese speakers that can translate that to Japanese and search for it?

    I think that there is a visible line between actual robotic research and novelty toys shop. I'm going to put this in the latter unless someone can provide evidence of some progress being made here. I'm getting kind of tired of these stories with big claims and no published research for review []. If you're looking to make money, go ahead and sell your novelty barking dogs that really urinate on your carpet ... just don't try to veil it in a news story with claims of artificial affection being implemented.

    I think IGN and everyone else really embellished on this and no one did their homework.

  • The lesson (Score:5, Insightful)

    by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger@gm a i l . c om> on Monday March 09, 2009 @02:58PM (#27124873)

    Program a robot to think like a human, and they will begin acting like a human. It's amazing no one ever thinks about the negative aspects of this.

  • Re:The lesson (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:02PM (#27124951) Homepage Journal

    Program a robot to think like a human, and they will begin acting like a human. It's amazing no one ever thinks about the negative aspects of this.

    All we need now is teach the robot how to deal with rejection ;)

  • Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal ( 711123 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:06PM (#27125007)
    I have never read such utter drivel in all my life. There was a problem with the code and a researcher got trapped - this doesn't mean the robot is lovesick, it means their OH&S has a serious problem. Really, she should not have been working alone with potentially dangerous hardware like that - powerful robots (capable of lifting humans, like this one) can be deadly.

    YIAARTYVM (Yes, I Am A Roboticist, Thank You Very Much) and I've worked with potentially lethal automated systems in the past - we had very stringent safety protocols in place to protect students and researchers in the case of unintended activation of the hardware.

    To say that the robot is 'love stricken' or any other anthropomorphised nonsense simply detracts from the reality that their safety measures failed and someone could have been killed.

  • Re:The lesson (Score:3, Insightful)

    by k_187 ( 61692 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:11PM (#27125083) Journal
    Why can't harm or injury include mental or emotional harms? Not to mention that the 2nd law would prevent this from happening. No really means No to a robot.
  • Girlfriend? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by superspam ( 857967 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @04:25PM (#27126179)
    Ever had a super needy girlfriend...
    This is slashdot. Why would you even ask that question?

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