Awards have been given out by Japan’s Ministry of Economics and Trade Industry for the top 10 robots in the area of service, industrial, civil, and small to medium sized venture robots.
It’s easy to see why Japan has given out these awards. Japan has a pretty low birth rate and their citizens are living longer and longer so it makes sense to build robots that will assist the elderly. I’m all for it, as the technology advances more and more of it will trickle down to everyday tasks. I for one hope that robotic fueling stations for cars become common. It might force car makers to establish a standard fuel port for cars but I think that would be a small concession for the convenience and environmental benefits such a system would create.
I saw a gob of the contenders at the 2006 NextFest in New York last September, and I can say that the Paro robot seals are going to be a big hit when they come across to the US. From the reactions of the kids that were interacting with them I’m sure that pediatric hospitals will be buying some of them.
KHR-2HV robots are cool just because they walk like humans but they are low enough in price that you could see a few being used in a school setting to teach robotics.
Go follow the link and see who took home the top award.