Japan stands out for its long love affair with humanoid robots, a phenomenon that is creating what will likely be the world's first mass robot culture. While U.S. companies have produced robot vacuum cleaners and war machines, Japan has created humanoids and pet robots as entertaining friends. While the U.S. makes movies like Robocop and The Terminator, Japan is responsible for the friendly Mighty Atom, Aibo and Asimo. While the U.S. sponsors robot-on-robot destruction contests, Japan's feature tasks that mimic nonviolent human activities.
What can account for Japan's unique relationship with robots as potential colleagues in life, rather than as potential adversaries? This book attempts to answer this fundamental query by looking at Japan's histrorical connections with robots, its present fascination and leading technologies, and what the future holds.
From the Edo-period humanoid automatons, through popular animation icons and into the high-tech labs of today's researchers in robotic motion and intelligence, the author traces a fascinating trail of passion and development.
Written by Timothy N. Hornyak.