Feeds

Honda shows off space-dwarf robot butler capability

Also plans droids to 'work on street corners'

Application security programs and practises

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.