Feeds

Honda shows off space-dwarf robot butler capability

Also plans droids to 'work on street corners'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Japanese robot industry is streets ahead of the competition when it comes to designing droids for peaceful uses (for war-bots, of course, the discerning purchaser shops in America). That said, Japanese robots have so far struggled to find a real, erm, killer application.

This is perhaps because the robo-designers of Japan tend to strive for overly worthy uses: caring for the elderly, construction work, that type of thing. Plainly, this will never inspire people. Now, however, we might have something that people will buy.

Asimo: now serves drinks

Take this shit away and get me a large gin.

That's because Honda has finally programmed its mildly interesting but ultimately purposeless Asimo robot to do something useful: serve drinks.

At last, the robot butler or bartender could finally be on the way, and humanity will be freed from the crushing burden of mixing its own drinks. It's like the invention of the wheel. For some of us, anyway.

Honda showed off the droids' new capabilities in Tokyo yesterday.

According to AP: "The bubble-headed robots can recognise drink choices and carry a tray with the requested drink to the person who placed the order.

"The Asimo... looks like a child in a white spacesuit."

Apparently, Honda has also enabled the dwarvish droids with other abilities. They can seemingly dodge round drunken human masters, for instance - a useful skill for waiters who are only 51 inches tall and thus below many people's field of vision.

There are some worrying hints in the AP story, however. For one, it seems the robo-butlers so far may only be able to serve tea and similar muck, known to be fatal to even the hardiest constitution.

Secondly, there was a truly disturbing suggestion that Honda intends its stunted spacesuit robots to serve other basic human needs.

"By the end of 2010s, we'd like to see these robots working at every street corner of the city," Honda's Tomohiko Kawanabe said, according to AP. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.