iGuide 4000 – I for one welcome our future robot overlords!

iGuide 4000 on Nieuwenmarkt
(Artist impression)

Cleaning up the mess after a storm
(Artist impression)

As usual I was crusing around Japanese websites looking for interesting stuff and found a company called Izmojuki Industrial.
They make robots for the automotive industry in Japan, except they are now branching out into, what Bablefish calls, “helping-hand robots”. [I think that means non-industrial robots]
I found it interesting that they are pitching the robot on the top right as a tourist guide robot. [Notice It is located in Amsterdam in the picture ;-)]
They expect to have an operational prototype by the fourth quarter of 2007, and Aichi prefecture in Japan are willing to trial it!
The spec page is rather cryptic and seems to mention “parallel processing core” and “silent running gravity rotation engine”.
The first is obviously for some proprietary software. Maybe some basic voice recognition software alon the lines of answering very basic questions [Where is the toilet? etc]
The later, I think, means a large rotating metal disk, or band, hence its shape, that can then be harnessed for energy. Making it potentially spookily quiet. [Also it would no doubt aid in ballancing the thing]
It can be spun up at a charging station before it goes on duty.
But we do not have to wait all that long.
The prototype of, what is most probably mistranslated by Bablefish as, “Wind of Grandfather” [?] is to be rolled out by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Japan during the third quarter of 2006! [Second picture is an artists impression].
Powered by a diesel engine, which makes sense, it is meant to “Make the road of the wood and the wreckage clean” after a tropical storm. [I hope the iGuide 4000 doesn’t use Babelfish for it’s translations!]
It is meant to save the Ministry a billions of yen a year in cleanup costs on remote rural roads.
[I just hope it can differentiate between a human and a tree!]
Well, if this is the future then I embrace it! I would love to see more robots in everyday applications like this. The ultimate labour saving devices.

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