Welcome again to JJNN for Sunday June 15th, 2008. Today we are going to talk about another of the many wacky robots that Japanese companies make.
This story was taken from slashdot and can be found here. The name of the new robot is EMA (which stands for Eternal Maiden Actualization...what ever that means) and is being made by Saga Toys, of all companies. Saga actually has a line of robots it has produced over the years including a dog robot and a cat robot. They decided the next major step would be to make a humanoid female robot. The robot is pictured below:
The robot is slated to go on sale September 26th and will be able to do the following things: trade name cards, sing and dance at the same time (I can't even do that), walk like a female should (AKA Fujiko from Lupin) and kiss.
Yep, you read that right, kiss. This robot has a "kiss mode," which is actually just a part of its "entertainment mode." When Ema points its (I will not use a feminine pronoun for it!) the owner can pull her left arm forward and the robot will move its face closer to the owners face and made a kiss sound. What the hell? Why would anyone want to do this? For one thing, EMA is only 38 centimeters (about 15 inches) tall. I guess if someone would like to have a love affair with a leprechaun this would be perfect, but I prefer someone a might taller myself.
Yeah, I know, the kissing thing is weird, but lets look at the robot in terms of parts. It may be a little thing, but it actually has an array of 5 motors that it is uses to walk and perform other actions such as moving its arms. Since this thing can walk you don't want it to be running into anything or anyone so it also has lots of sensors. These sensors include infrared sensors, sensors that detect how the robot is angled compared to a target and sensors that detect sound. Also, this little robot is flexible. It can flex at the elbows, shoulders, legs and the trunk of the body. That is a total of 9 places that it has degrees of movement. To top it all off, EMA's hands both have sensors on them that can tell when you are touching or moving them (so that you can get to kiss mode!).
All and all it is quite the complex machine being sold as a toy to lonely men. The price is about 20000 yen (about 200USD) so it is a might expensive as well. My advice for people that actually want to buy this thing is to either find a girlfriend or find a new hobby. I guess it would be a good introduction to a future where every house has a robot (if that kind of future is meant to be), but may a checkers mode would have been a better idea than a kiss mode for something like this.
Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 赤外線(せきがいせん). It is pronounced sekigaisen and means infrared. It seems that infrared technology is everywhere in Japan. I mean you can trade cellphone information with infrared now. Got to love technology.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.