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Mitsubishi Robot - Watchdog, Nurse, Annoying Friend

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the mother's-little-helper dept.

Toys 183

jomaree writes "The SMH Online reports that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have developed a robot (to run on Linux) with voice and face recognition capabilities. The robot would be able to connect to the Internet, contact you by e-mail or a mobile phone and, say, send you a message if it 'hears' a strange noise inside your home. It can also remember the side effects of medication. Reportedly, Mitsubishi claim that the robot 'will become a future house-sitter, caretaker, nurse and friend for the family'. Unfortunately the robot can also be programmed to ask 'You're home late. What have you been up to?' Don't we already have people for that?" The Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun has a story with pictures.

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I claim this first post... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229782)

In the name of ... uh ... the Christmas Islands. Thank you for your excellent service in never failing to resolve goatse.cx [goatse.cx] !

Re:I claim this first post... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229786)

Oh dear lord that link is GROSS! Nobody click that!

Re:I claim this first post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229816)

What's wrong with that link???

I use it for my wallpaper :)

Re:I claim this first post... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230079)

I use it for other people's wallpaper.

Re:I claim this first post... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230034)

ah... the fresh stink of noo-b's.

welcome to slashdot :)

it's always good to see new faces looking at that god-awful picture.

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229785)

fp!

Slashdot celebrates Negro Month: Sammy Davis Jr. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229789)

Sammy Davis Jr.

On November 19, 1954, the career of Sammy Davis Jr. almost came to a sudden and tragic close. While driving to Los Angeles to record the title tune of the Universal International picture "Six Bridges to Cross", Sammy was the victim of an automobile smash-up and narrowly escaped death. He was so seriously injured that his left eye had to be removed. In spite of the terrible shock, Sammy rallied and went on with his work; he even insisted that he was the "luckiest guy in the world".

Since his accident, Sammy's courageous spirit and ever-growing talent have won him increasingly enthusiastic audiences. Let's hear it for Sammy Davis Jr. !

Celebrate Negro Month 2003 with Slashdot.

contact, eh? (0, Offtopic)

trmj (579410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229795)

I can hear it now:

"Tom? You there? It's dark here, and I'm scared. [pause]
Did you hear that? OMIGOSH (I'm lonely) COME HOME QUICK!!!"

Re:contact, eh? (2, Funny)

chamenos (541447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229995)

this might be the solution to the problem of the majority of /.ers having no girlfriends.

It's a Japanese robot... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229796)

so does it do bukakke? That's the kind of robot that I want to see!

Re:It's a Japanese robot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229810)

yeah, cause watching a chick get covered in motor oil is just soooooo sexy...

*sigh*

Re:It's a Japanese robot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229883)

10W30? Oh, you dirty dirty bitch.

Why must it so obviously pimped (-1, Flamebait)

MoThugz (560556) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229797)

...that it runs Linux, or whatever the hell kind of OS for that matter... It's not like it's R2D2 or some other really cool robot.

Re:Why must it so obviously pimped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229807)

No, it must run the only real os, linux. All other pale in comparison to it. Yes, the monolithic OS, is god. LINUX SUCKS

Re:Why must it so obviously pimped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229951)

Tanenbaum once said he'd fail Linus if Linus was studying kernel development under him.

Re:Why must it so obviously pimped (1)

sbryant (93075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229812)

...that it runs Linux

The article description clearly says "it runs on Linux" and not that Linux runs on the robot. Must be a virtual robot, if it runs on Linux. I wonder if someone's ported it to BSD/Mac/Win/my fridge...

Where's our flying cars? (1, Funny)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229811)

This isn't the robot I dreamed about as a kid. By 2000 we should have had cool android/robots, flying cars and computers like the HAL 9000.

Also, Manhatten Island was suppose to be turned into a prison and the moon was suppose to be ripped from orbit by 1999.

The Look (-1, Offtopic)

Ptahian (113302) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229821)

Even now Michael Jackson is calling his surgery team to schedule more transformation. His nose is clearly no longer small enough.

I can see it now.... (5, Funny)

bedessen (411686) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229822)


you by e-mail or a mobile phone and, say, send you a message if it 'hears' a strange noise inside your home. It can also remember the side effects of medication.

I can see it now:

From: mitsubot@example.com
To: brian-at-work@example.com

Dear Brian,

The cat just knocked over a flower pot which made a loud sound. I'm scared. Please come home soon. By the way, remember to be on the lookout for fecal urgency, loose stools, and increased heart rate now that you're taking Propecia.

Love,
Your Robot

Re:I can see it now.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229909)

You mean the bot will wreak havoc and blame it on the cat?

What if... (1)

The Tyro (247333) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229917)

the robot can't tell what medications are what? Can it be discrete when you bring home the ladies?

Senior Citizen to Date from other Nursing Home: "Oh no, baby, you're the only one for me" *Whisper to robot* "Robie! bring me my Viagra!"

Robie in loud hard-of-hearing voice: "Same Viagra dose as the last six times, master?"

Senior Citizen: "Um..."

Re:I can see it now.... (1)

illogical_simby (639188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230105)

Sheesh no wonder my heart's screaming at 200 bpm! Tell me, kind sir, what do you know about propecia and the possible reversal of ones sexuality? Neat robot by the way, Mitsubish has come a long way from that dreaded Zeke!

I don't know if this is such a good idea (5, Insightful)

aerojad (594561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229828)

Giving robots the ability to have face as well as voice recognition, inevitably I can see some sort of security system being done with robots such as these (only recognized people get through, others get... dealt with), and then if the robot can be put on the internet than the robot could be hacked. Forget identity theft, how would you like it if you came home one day and your robot wouldn't let you in the door because you "no longer lived there" (in other words, it doesn't recognize you), or worse yet lets someone else in because it is now programmed to accept that person as someone who lives at the house.

To make a long story short, IMHO, I don't believe robot "house-sitters" are a good thing. I for one would never give up control of the security or well-being of my house to a walking, talking computer program.

I just don't see the pros outweighing the cons here.

Read the Headline (4, Informative)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229897)

The headline says it all: Robot for the elderly to become real-life Astro Boy

No flamethrower or electroshocker included.
The security, which should be gained by this, is not one against burglers.

It is against dying from mismedication, strokes, and the like. It checks the person in question regularly for life-signs, reminds him/her of the medication and notifies an ambulance if necessary. And additionally gives the feeling of company.

The aversion seems to be a cultural thing: In Japan, inanimate objects are more likely considered to have a soul. The first image of a robot is Astro Boy.
In the Western World, the first image is Maria (Metropolis) (or maybe the Golem).

Re:Read the Headline (2, Funny)

CharterTerminal (199214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230089)

And as we all know, senior citizens ARE the population segment which is most likely to be reassured by the presence of a robot!

Re:I don't know if this is such a good idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230156)

"I for one would never give up control of the security or well-being of my house to a walking, talking computer program."

Do you have fire detectors? They aren't near as talented as the bot. You trust them with not only your house, but your life. Of course, detectors also don't broil cushions in the oven! Point is, we already trust machines in a lot of aspects. In a couple of years, I'll have a bot and I'll name her Rosey!
http://www.tvacres.com/robots_rosey.htm

I got a friend who can already do all this. (5, Funny)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229829)

The robot would be able to connect to the Internet, contact you by e-mail or a mobile phone and, say, send you a message if it 'hears' a strange noise inside your home. It can also remember the side effects of medication.

(imagine a message on my answering machine)

DUDE! I'm smoking a doob and checking the porn sites over here. Come on over and... what the fuck is that noise? Ah fuck. This pot is making my mouth dry so pick up some Dew on the way over. LAter dude.

2 hours uptime before recharge? (4, Insightful)

A Rabid Tibetan Yak (525649) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229830)

Hmm, you think they might want to improve that a little before releasing it to the public.

Of course, it depends on how long the recharge takes -- the robot wouldn't be much of a helper for the elderly if recharging takes another 2 hours, meaning the robot spends 50% of its time tied to the wall, but it wouldn't be so bad if it can recharge itself rapidly or perhaps even swap batteries somehow. Does anyone here know the average running time lengths for the current crop of personal robots?

Re:2 hours uptime before recharge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229948)

Yeah, dude, and perhaps it could two batteries so that it always has one charged up. Wait a second, it could three batteries, three batteries, anybody know the feasibility of a robot with three batteries?

Re:2 hours uptime before recharge? (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229973)

It would not surprise me one bit if we find we can program it to go to the battery charger and swap its main battery for the one in the charger ( the few seconds it is without main battery, it could run on a smaller backup or "ultracapacitor". ) In addition, it could probably maintain statistics on all the batteries in use and know which ones are beginning to show failure and make appropriate recommendations when replacement is due and how urgent.

Remember, this thing is Linux. This thing, theoretically, can do whatever its hardware will permit it to do. It would not surprise me a bit if it can be programmed to recognize faces, it could recognize its battery charger and be programmed with what steps it takes to swap out the batteries, provided we equip it with the mechanical ability to do so.

Not much different from us.

We have to honor nature calls too. Every couple of hours or so.

Re:2 hours uptime before recharge? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230168)

There is already a lawn mower that does just this... very amazing piece of machinery.

http://www.usa.husqvarna.com/Folder_263/node756. as p

It has some wires in the yard like the dog fence, and one wire about halfway up the middle. The mower mows in a totally random fashion, and the idea is to run it every day (middle of the night is best time as it is very quiet). Anyway, when it knows it is low, it will seek out its charging bay on its own and will charge a bit before going back to its task. When it finishes mowing, it docks in its charging bay.

Just what we need... (4, Funny)

rob-fu (564277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229832)

Wakamaru also can ask questions such as, "You are home late, aren't you?" or "Are you O.K.?" when the master remains silent.

If I want someone to ask me over and over if I'm OK because I'm not saying anything, I'd get married.

As far as robot technology has come, you'd think that robots would be able to handle awkward silences.

How about... (1)

gibbo2 (58897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230028)

a nice cup of... [attrition.org]

Re:Just what we need... (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230035)

At least it [mainichi.co.jp] look better than my wife. :)

Re:Just what we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230039)

  • If I want someone to ask me over and over if I'm OK because I'm not saying anything, I'd get married.

I'll bet it don't swallow....

Re:Just what we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230194)

Yet...eww, scary.

But will it protect Grandma.... (1)

patrixmyth (167599) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230196)

from the horrible secret from space?

Re:Just what we need... (1)

Genrou (600910) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230205)


If I want someone to ask me over and over if I'm OK because I'm not saying anything, I'd get married.


Remember, the main advantage of the robot is that you cant turn it off.

Re:Just what we need... (1)

gdanjo (636270) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230231)

As far as robot technology has come, you'd think that robots would be able to handle awkward silences.
The french have this solved:

when (silence)
for i in 1 .. n_people;
insult(i)
Dan ...

Interesting but.. (4, Interesting)

fateswarm (590255) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229833)

It will probably be some closed source technology that obviously is not working right from the first attempt. Strange noises can be heard from the TV, the Radio, the guys next door, or even the dog.

A similar but imo more sensible approach would be a simple computer box and a audio card with dynamic microphones that would be based on some nice open software which can be upgraded and be compatible with our needs.

Computers could do these things from the 80s. All we need is the software to do it.

I'm sorry, Master... (5, Funny)

JS_Guitar (645073) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229846)

...I cannot perform any services today, as I am getting together with a few robot friends of mine to form a beowolf cluster...

knowing the japanese (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229849)

it probably started as a project to make a new kind of dildo and then it spiraled out of control. which means it can probably still export a tele-dildonic api and may even support the latest in cock-shaped audio wave technology.

Re:knowing the japanese (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229858)

mod this up, not only is it on topic, it's interesting and informative, and so true. the japanese are just fucked up, let's admit it.

Re:knowing the japanese (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229906)

Must be so nice to be a bigot and have no other concrete thoughts to occupy that miniscule brain inside your head. (You and the fuckwad moderator who actually had the audacity to mark your post as "funny".

Re:knowing the japanese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229956)

One word, buddy: http://vatican.rotten.com/fecaljapan/ [rotten.com] (love the bit about not showing pubic hair)

Re:knowing the japanese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229986)

One person's action makes their entire culture appropriate for generalizations, eh? Fucking bigots. I see the top parent is at +3 funny now. I thought geeks were above petty racist bigotry but apparently not.

Re:knowing the japanese (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230031)

have you ever even been to japan? much less read their porn?

you can buy teddy bears that are DILDOs.
you can buy used panties from vending machines.
you can't buy a beer in a lawson's without passing at least one prostitute.

Re:knowing the japanese (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230047)

I _LIVE_ here, fuckwad. It's not the cesspool you lamers fantasy about. Sure, Japan has its problems (smoking is a bloody epidemic here, and rights for non-smokers are pretty much non-existent) there are a lot better morals here than in your crime infested scumfilled cities. Bah. Last time I went back home for a visit, the FIRST PERSON I encountered after I went out (after coming back from the airport) hit me up for some spare change. At least the Japanese are not so lazy they would rather beg for spare change than find a fucking job.

Re:knowing the japanese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230050)

Wow. I love the irony of you accusing people of being bigots and then lumping the homeless epidemic into the file of laziness.

Genius.

Now, go watch some tenticle porn or something, fuckwad.

Re:knowing the japanese (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230057)

Homeless epidemic? Give me a fucking break. Yes, there are legitimate homeless, but in the States and Canada there are LOTS of able-bodied YOUTH standing around and demanding handouts. "Can I have $2 for a bus ride"? Guess what, fuckwad, you can walk anywhere in this city in less than an hour, so start fucking hiking, deadbeat!
There are legitimate homeless in Japan, too. (Although it must be said, none of them have EVER approached me looking for a fucking handout. Maybe there is still a thing called "pride" here which USED to exist in the States and Canada when I was growing up. It's fucking gone now.

And then you wonder why you fuckers are despised by the majority of the world's population and have to endure crippling terrorist attacks.

Re:knowing the japanese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230038)

the post is obviously a joke, but i guess you felt better about yourself becuase you were on the side of rightness, goodness, puppies, and apple fucking pie.

Re:knowing the japanese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230071)

+4, funny? I would have thought -1, troll or -1, flamebait. I guess none of the Slashdot readers holding moderator points are Japanese (or have a problem with bigotry).

Cherry 2000 (1)

The Tyro (247333) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230145)

Heh... reminds me of that old (but strangely memorable) Melanie Griffith movie.

Daily news article contents are here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229851)


A robot equipped with a voice machine designed to serve as a "caretaker" for the elderly and sick people was unveiled on Tuesday.

Developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), the one-meter-tall, bubble-headed robot will go on sale at a cost of 1 million yen in April next year. The robot is targeting the families of elderly people and those living alone.

The robot is equipped with functions to help elderly people and those in poor health send an alarm to hospitals, security firms and relatives when an emergency happens.

With a memory camera set inside the eyebrow, the robot recognizes its master. It is called "Wakamaru," taken from the childhood name, Ushiwakamaru, of 12-century warrior Minamoto no Yoshitsune.

Users can see images of the home the robot serves when they call Wakamaru on a camera-equipped mobile phone, and even talk with those at home over the phone. The battery-charged robot runs on wheels and recharges itself.

Wakamaru is also expected to achieve the real world of cartoon character robot Tstsuwan Atomu, known as "Astro Boy" overseas, created by the late cartoonist Osamu Tezuka.

Tezuka's masterpiece Astro Boy describes the co-existence of man and robots through verbal communications, but Wakamaru is equipped with a voice machine and a vocabulary of some 10,000 Japanese words to ensure nothing is left to misunderstanding.

"Daddy, it's time for you to go to work," the prototype robot told its master during the unveiling ceremony. Wakamaru also can ask questions such as, "You are home late, aren't you?" or "Are you O.K.?" when the master remains silent.

MHI officials hope to sell 10,000 units of the world's first home-use robot with a voice machine per year.

The prototype robot will be on display from April 3 to 6, just missing Astro Boy's birthday on April 7, during the "ROBODEX 2003" exhibition held at the Pacifico Yokohama hall in the Minatomirai area near JR Yokohama Station. (Mainichi Shimbun, Feb. 4, 2003)

It looks ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229855)

Mein Gott, der Roboter sieht ja zum kotzen aus.

Sorry, couldn't express this in English. Does anybody think this robot will succeed outside Japan? Okay, they can make a cartoon out of it, but that's almost all. I like technical stuff and especially robots, but this is idio^Wnot more than a toy.

Re:It looks ... (1)

John_Renne (176151) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230061)

Mein Gott, der Roboter sieht ja zum kotzen aus

Well my german isn't too good but what this poster is trying to tell us is: Boy this thing looks shitty

just being helpfull ;-)

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229860)

It is official; Netcraft now confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

I like the idea (1)

Arctic Dragon (647151) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229871)

I wouldn't mind having a robot in my house to help around. On one condition, though: that it doesn't touch the beer in the fridge.

Re:I like the idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229941)

"Why would a robot need to drink?" -Fry
"I don't need to drink, I can quit anytime I want." -Bender

and the other source the SMH online says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229874)

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has developed a robot on wheels that the Japanese manufacturer says will become a future house-sitter, caretaker, nurse and friend for the family.

The 100cm-tall bubble-headed, mouthless robot, shown to reporters yesterday, has cameras inside its head and comes equipped with voice and face recognition capabilities that allow the machine to search for and follow voices, faces and movements.

The still experimental robot is suited for older people or those in frail health, the Tokyo-based company said. It will likely sell at about Y1 million ($A14,247), although Mitsubishi did not say when it will go on sale.

The robot, which runs on the Linux operating system, links to the Internet and can send its camera images to mobile phones and computers away from the home. It can also be programmed to send e-mail if it hears a big noise or sees anything unusual in the home, Mitsubishi said.

The machine can ask questions such as: "You're home late. What have you been up to?" It can also remember side-effects of medication.

It runs on a battery for two hours but knows when it's running low and will go recharge itself.

Japan has long had a fascination for robot technology, especially machines with humanlike appearances.

Several companies have developed robots, including entertainment and electronics giant Sony Corp, mobile company NTT DoCoMo and automaker Honda Motor Co.

AP

IT'S SHINBUN, NOT SHIMBUN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229879)

who proofreads this shit?

Re:IT'S SHINBUN, NOT SHIMBUN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229900)

Actually, in modified Hepburn form, it _IS_ proper to say, "shimbun" (since the n sounds more close to an m sound before a ba/bi/bu/be/bo sound. So go fuck yourself, ignorant Japanese 101 student.

students...how quaint (-1, Flamebait)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229978)

Slam several hot saki, stuf a cigarette substitute in your mouth, cram into a subway car with 150 other suits, prop a 50cm long cellphone under your chin and then blurt it out....that's the only way you'll come near sounding like a native Japanese speaker.

Anything else is pure conjecture.

Re:students...how quaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229991)

Actually, after only living here for 3 years, I am told I speak pretty damned clean Japanese (pronounciation and grammar wise). I admit I'm still weak at things that require intimate knowledge of cultural references (jokes told at morning assemblies often fall flat with me). You must be a Japanese 100 student too, if you truly believe there is no mastery of the language possible.

Re:students...how quaint (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230229)

wow..three whole years? :)

In a few more, hubris will wear off and you'll become aware that the Japanese politeness factor means they would tell you your skills are high, regardless of how bad you butcher the language. You must be a true source of entertainment. If you really understood the culture, you'd be playing down any skill, not barking it up. You will also eventually learn that mastery of such things as languages is never predicated on how damned clean it may be. If only it were that simple.

When you dream in Japanese, swear in Japanese (the girls know the best/worst words), and you can read Japanese minds, then you might be ready to attempt to climb the mountain that all Japanese know is difficult for non-natives. As it stands, you haven't even gotten dressed for the trip.

Clue..years mean nothing. It is a constant study. Stop bragging and get back to it.

Re:IT'S SHINBUN, NOT SHIMBUN (1)

Froobly (206960) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229905)

Both are perfectly valid romanizations of the word. It depends on whether you're using Hepburn-style or gunreishiki, or perhaps some other accepted standard that's emerged through common use.

Re:IT'S SHINBUN, NOT SHIMBUN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229919)

I already explained it to the man before you did. -1, Redundant. You must be a Japanese 200 student! :-/ Fuckwad.

Do you have the Foster's lager advert in the USA? (4, Funny)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229880)

If not, have a look at this [visit4info.com] . Rather amusing the first time you see it.

Re:Do you have the Foster's lager advert in the US (1)

Mark (ph'x) (619499) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230017)

I would just like to make the comment... please do not judge Aussie beer by Fosters.

None of my mates drink Fosters beer... and noone down here with any taste drinks Fosters, 'Victoria Bitter' or 'West End'.

If any of you forigners ;) would like a decent drop, try to import some Coopers...

Otherwise just drink Guinness :)

Slashdot readers celebrate Black History Month(tm) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229881)

(CNN) -- African-American music, writing and innovations have been forged in struggle -- filled with pain and elation, self-consciousness and self-realization, hurt and healing.

It is a true American experience -- manifest in a profound, groundbreaking and influential culture.

"African-American culture has defined American culture," says Craig Werner, a professor of African-American studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Noting blacks' fight to realize supposedly all-American ideals [read: White values imposed by White society] such as equality and liberty, and their many expressions of courage and creativity, Werner adds, "People who had the most reason to reject the whole game, ironically enough, tend to be the deepest, purest expression of what America is about."

America has embraced black music, with blues, jazz, rap and rock 'n' roll making their way into the mainstream. Radio play lists reflect this fusion, and even the pop yardstick MTV nowadays is BET's cousin, with its abundance of black artists, says Tamara Brown, a historian at the Anacostia Museum, the Smithsonian's black history center.

African-American authors like Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison belong to the nation's pantheon of great writers. Black artists, scientists, engineers, chefs, religious and political leaders have profoundly shaped America's day-to-day existence.

The African-American experience is about ideals, and testing those ideals -- detailed in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution -- to see whether those high standards extend to all Americans, and working to make sure they do.

One hundred years after W.E.B. Du Bois, in "The Souls of Black Folk," said race would be the defining problem of the 20th century, academics, artists and everyday people are still struggling with gauging black Americans' role and the impact of slavery on American society.

"For blacks, coming here was a nightmare experience, being taken into slavery and thrown into bondage [by AmeriKKKan whites]," says Bill Ferris, former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities now at the University of North Carolina. "That long struggle of freedom continues today. When we talk about the black experience, it raises questions about the American dream."

Sounds of struggle, joy

When the first Africans were forcibly taken to the New World, they were stripped of their freedom, family, languages -- their fundamental identities. Even so, elements of their culture endured. [Despite everything the white man did to hold us down]

"You have had your language and your culture taken away from you," Werner says. "So how do you express that? You sing. You moan. You say it however you can say it." [And you hopefully wait for the opportunity when the white man turns his back, and then you act on the killing impulse that comes naturally to all of us]

"Music is part and parcel of every act in African-American life," says Portia Maultsby, director of the Archives of African-American Music and Culture at Indiana University, Bloomington. "It serves as a unifying force, but also as a communication vehicle and one of resistance."

Today's African-American music still brims with emotion and speaks for the disenfranchised, says Ferris. musicians play Louis Armstrong and Carmen McRae star in a 1962 Monterrey Jazz Festival musical portraying black musicians as America's best ambassadors.

The creativity that's so evident in black music -- its many genres, and also the great variation within each one -- is characteristic of African-American culture as a whole, say scholars.

Black inventors, writers, artists and athletes have brought a unique sensibility, style and substance to American society, experts say. And they have often done so with less money, education and resources than many more privileged Americans.

"You don't have to be educated [lord knows, the whites do NOT like an educated, uppity black man], you have to be creative," says Portia James, the Anacostia Museum's curator. "You just have to have initiative to solve the problem, to do something."

'Audacious hope'

Legendary author James Baldwin said being African American is about attitude, not skin color -- always experimenting and tackling challenges [read: putting up with the white AmeriKKKan way of life] in the quest for success and self-discovery, according to Werner. That sentiment, he notes, is also distinctly American.

"What's fascinating about America is that we do accept risk, we do accept diversity, we do accept the idea that we're inventing ourselves over and over and over again," says Werner.

Yet black innovations have not always been welcomed or properly recognized. Maultsby points to jazz, which was "considered primitive and barbaric when it was introduced" but later became defined as quintessentially American.

Similar progressions -- abhorrence giving way to absorption -- hold true for rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll and rap, she notes.

"When the minority culture moves into the mainstream, it becomes a mainstream tradition. We tend not to do that from the dominant end," says Maultsby. "Once they become commodities, the African-American roots become more invisible and less acknowledged."

Public Enemy

Public Enemy's "Fear of a Black Planet," representative of hard-core rap, vented some African Americans' anger in the 1980s and 1990s.

But absorption also suggests admiration, and with it an acknowledgement of the creativity and quality of African-American artists.

"Even though society may have frowned upon relations between whites and blacks, music was one thing that they shared in common," says Brown.

The pain in the songs of Billie Holiday, angry lyrics of Public Enemy or raw literary works by Ellison or Richard Wright turn the obstacles and troubles confronting many African Americans into art.

But black culture -- and its impact on American society -- is also defined by joy and spirit, says Ferris.

"Each generation of Americans can relate to black music and dance as a fresh new connection to life," he says. "It's the ultimate celebration of life, and it's always pushing us to new levels of experience."

Underlying African-Americans' struggles and creations is what scholar Cornell West calls "audacious hope," says Werner. The black experience, much like that of the New World's first settlers and the West's pioneers, is a constant test of will and strength, in which faith is a prime component.

"Life is tragic, life is blues, life has its hard times. But you've got to find a way to wrestle that hope out of it, or else you can't go on," says Werner. Much of black culture "is profoundly therapeutic, although it doesn't come to easy answers. Then again, most therapy never does."

It is with great joy do we, the Slashdot readership, embrace Black History Month(tm). Have you killed a white man today?

Honda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229884)

The Honda robot kicks that robot's tin can all over the block. It is actually a biped.

Bed detective? (3, Funny)

millwall (622730) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229895)

"It can also be programmed to send e-mail if it hears a big noise or sees anything unusual in the home, Mitsubishi said."

I wonder if, while you are away on a business trip, you could program the thing to hide under your bed and report any noise it hears!

Chobits anyone? (1)

DarthVdr (115873) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229908)

Great, so one of these things is going to get a soul, fall in love, and possibably distroy human interaction for all time?

where do I get one? ;-)$

Re:Chobits anyone? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230053)

Have you seen the picture of the thing? It looks like a 3 foot tall bee. I'd be more worried about it trying to assimilate the human race.

"What can I do for you master? Bzz... Bzz... You haven't fulfilled your honey production quotient master... Bzz... Bzz... We think you're not doing your part for the hive... I'm going to grasp at you futiley with my nonopposable hands until you give in to the collective's needs. Bzz..."

(That buzzing noise is the hard drive, of course)

Seriously, though, Props for the Chobits reference. If I had moderator points, you would get one of them.

-C

Wait a minute. (3, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229911)

It can nag without tiring and yet it doesn't have a mouth? Talk about the worst of both worlds.

Sounds Interesting (4, Insightful)

anubi (640541) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229918)

I think they are taking a step in the right direction... especially their choice of OS.

If I see this right, it will be kinda like a computer with a lot of mobile interface built-in, so it could be programmed with things its creator never dreamed of, much as Linux is probably being programmed with things Linus never thought of.

I can think already of a whole plethora of things I could program this beastie for.. like when I am under the car and I want it to look up a database and show me where some wire connects to. Or "staying awake", watching my surroundings, when I snooze off. Basically, I kinda see this as a self-propelled laptop which I never switch off... something coming with a lot of rudimentary intelligence for recognizing its environment, yet leaving itself open for any training I may want to give it. ( A closed-source box is absolutely useless in this regard - getting one of those would be about as useful as getting a tool that only does a specific thing - said specific thing most likely being something I have no need of.)

I've seen the little robotic dog... cute! Nice toy. I've seen where people were able to program it to do all sorts of cute little tricks. Now, if they play their cards right and make this one completely open source, I think they will make one of those things that everyone will want. Even if you do not have the skills to program it yourself, there will be many people who do, and programs will circulate among the net. I think if they are smart, they will provide the hardware and enough software to demonstrate what can be done, then stand back and wait for the flood of orders to the factory.. as I think they may have trouble building them fast enough.

I already got one... (2, Funny)

natron 2.0 (615149) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229920)

I already got one...it is called a wife.

Re:I already got one... (2, Funny)

La Temperanza (638530) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229950)

But does it run Linux?

Re:I already got one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229952)

But that robot cannot be replaced.. ;-)

Re:I already got one... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230025)

natron writes:
I already got one...it is called a wife.
I call mine bitch.

Finally! (1)

lateralus_1024 (583730) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229928)

finally something that matches the style,engineering and innovation of my R.O.B [robots.net]

Can it perform fellatio? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229931)

.. to a level of the average housewife?

As long as it understands... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5229955)

"Shut up"
I'll take one

Anyone reminded of "Share and Enjoy"? (2, Interesting)

hughk (248126) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229960)

It was the motto of the hugely successful complaints division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation in the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The corporation produced robots for domestic use and with the marketing motto "Your Plastic Friend who's Fun to Be With"

The song of the complaints department went something like this:

Share and Enjoy
Share and Enjoy
Journey through life
With a plastic boy
Or girl at your side
Let your pal be your guide
And when it breaks down
Or starts to annoy
Or grinds when it moves
And gives you no joy
Cos it's eaten your hat
Or had sex with your cat
Bled oil on the floor
Or ripped off your door
And you get to the point
You can't stand any more
Bring it to us, we wont't give a fig
We'll tell you 'Go stick your head in a pig'
(to be a sung by a choir of two million robots, a flattened fith out of tune).

We hope that Mitsibushi's attempt is somewhat better. However, thanks to the late Douglas Adams for warning us!!!!!

tv (1)

12013 (622026) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229982)

They ran a documentary on it in Hong Kong, it looked kinda cool. But it was about the size of a 12 year old and didn't look very strong... but i guess it will do just fine fetching me a beer from the fridge after a hard days work :)

Robot Spank (1)

felonious (636719) | more than 11 years ago | (#5229988)

Just another device that connects to the internet big deal. It's cool that it runs Linux but they probably only chose Linux because it more widely accepted by those in the know hence what they might think is a loyal user base for their product.

The truth is just because it uses Linux doesn't mean it'll be on anyone's must buy list. I completely understand why it won't run any version of Windows. Who wants their new Guard robot OS to crash and start killing the people who bought it? I don't want the HAL effect occuring in my house! I can see the thing fry and instead of saying MS's slogan "Where do you want to go today" or whatever the fuck it is it'll crash and say " WHo does the guard robot want to maim today".

Personally I will never buy one of these things until I can fuck them without the risj of being electrocuted:) No HAL...I'll take Hallie.

yeah.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230003)

Your plastic pal who's fun to be with!

guys, watch out for the victorian morals model (5, Funny)

eamonman (567383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230009)

Robot:
"What's that noise from my owner's room? Oh, it's midnight, it must be master's pr0n time"

Auto-Robot IM message to the owner:
Robot(11:00PM): STOP watching pr0n you PERV!
Robot(11:00PM): STOP watching pr0n you PERV!
Robot(11:01PM): STOP watching pr0n you PERV!

Owner: (coming out to shut off the robot) "Ok ok, fine, robot. Let me just turn off this switch..."

Robot: "Sorry for the error master! Sound pattern previously recoreded now determined as normal voice pattern of master. Recorded as non-anomalous behaviour. It will not happen again. Thank you for your cooperation. Have a good night master."

Owner: "Hmm, ok. Good night robot."

Robot: (quietly) "pervert."

Owner: "huh?"

Re:guys, watch out for the victorian morals model (2, Funny)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230220)

Well if he would teach you how to dance [man.ac.uk] you would get laid more.

Hmm... (4, Funny)

DennyK (308810) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230012)

Wakamaru also can ask questions such as, "You are home late, aren't you?" or "Are you O.K.?" when the master remains silent.

So when I sit at home talking to myself for hours on end, the robot will think that's just fine?

Finally, someone who understands me!

DennyK

Fosters Ad (5, Funny)

WanChan (548461) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230042)

This reminds me of an advert that is big in the UK. An Osakan (judging by his accent)guy gets one of these robots, and leaves it to do the household chores. Comes home to find said robot drinking his beer and having a tryst with the vacuum cleaner and the microwave.



Be warned, people

Too many Japanese anim reference (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230052)

Wakamaru is also expected to achieve the real world of cartoon character robot Tstsuwan Atomu, known as "Astro Boy" overseas, created by the late cartoonist Osamu Tezuka.

It [mainichi.co.jp] look more like a pawn than a Astro Boy [jinjapan.org] . :)

Re:Too many Japanese anim reference (1)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230101)

I thought this was an error at first too, but when I reread it I noticed that they were saying that it was expected to achieve the WORLD of Tetsuwan Atom and then went on to explain in a sort of Engrish-y way that the show took place in a world where human beings and cute little robots lived in peaceful coexistence. So rather than inferring that it looked like Tetsuwan Atom, they were inferring that its functionality and relative affordability (by comparison to previous robots with similar functionality) could usher in a world where everyone owns a somewhat sophisticated robot.

Hmm (5, Funny)

rastachops (543268) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230054)

pity that its running Linux, if it ran Doze then you could get all those .net alerts! Wooo I bet the dog wouldnt shut up.

*Bark* Free Diploma *Bark* Penis Enlargement Pills! *Bark* Free Toy Car *Kicks*

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230185)

So now we have people thinking that spam-mail determines if it is Linux or Windows and will NOT show up in Linux?

No? You say its because *nix runs filters? So, Windows doesn't have filtering software?

No? You just like to bitch about MS for karma?

Ahhhh... there we go. Would have been a decent joke without the Windoze reference.

Ooooahh!....Robotoda!!! (0)

maxpwr (454096) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230074)

Bye bye, roboto-san!!!

Eurugghhh!!!

Had to be said (-1, Offtopic)

basic70 (154807) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230076)

In Soviet Russia, YOU watch the ROBOT.

Don't robots... (1)

lamery (598414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230154)

eat old people's medicine for fuel?

Hey Michael... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5230171)

...YOU'RE A JERK!

Yuko Yuko 1200 (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5230215)

I want a Yuko Yuko 1200. It'll be fine as long as I make sure there's no Fosters in the fridge.
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