Although it was set in the far, far future and featured no black (or brown) people, some people really thought the Jetsons was where our world was going. Well, it's 2009 and our cars still don't fly, our President is Black, there's a food shortage and our maids aren't wise cracking robots. That being said, we have made some progress in the robot department.
Each year we get wind of another Japanese company furthering their quest to make robots more life-like and more useful to society. Today, another company called Kyosho introduced their new Postkun (Little Postman) robot. We're not sure what the $3,500 miniature humanoid is supposed to be used for, but it looks dope. Still, it's nothing compared to the other robots already on the market. Ones that can actually assist humans in ways never before thought possible. It's kinda scary, but it's the future, kinda like Kanye's crew's fashion. To get you prepared, we listed the five coolest we've seen below...
• Honda's Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility is the most human-like Humanoid on the list. In addition to having working opposable thumbs, thanks to advanced programming and algorithms, it can also do a myriad of shit that a robot shouldn't be able to do. Like: dance, climb steps, turn off light switches, run, avoid obstacles by reprogramming a new course of travel for itself, carry trays and figure out the proper greeting for certain humans. Sounds cool, right? Sure, until a hacker breaks into its OS and programs it to go iRobot on that ass.
• The QA isn't a humanoid. It's a classified as a robotic telepresence system and it allows the user to log into the QA remotely and act vicariously through it. The only use we can see for the QA is using it to attend important meetings while you sit in your boxers eating Captain Crunch. We'll take two.
• If you lived near a Uniqlo in 2008, you got a chance to see the Wakamura in the plastic. Looking like a yellow magna version of Rosie the Robot Maid from the Jetsons, the $14,000 Wakamura is more of a household assistant. It can remember your schedule and alert you when you need to head out to a meeting. It can relay messages to different family members by using its face recognition that can remember the names and faces of up to 100 people. You can also program it to watch your house when you're gone, by remotely logging into it and using its built in cameras to scope out your crib.
• Presented by PAL Technology last year, the REEM-B, an updated version of their REEM-A, comes equipped with a Intel Core 2 Duo, fingered hands and the ability to lift objects up to 25% of their body weight, meaning it can't kill you in your sleep and carry you out to the dumpster. They're saving for that for REEM-C.
TOYOTA'S PARTNER ROBOTS
• Toyota designed and built their line of "Partner Robots" to assist humans in their everyday professional and personal tasks. To demonstrate their able-bodiness, instead of having them climb steps or actually doing those everyday tasks, Toyota had them do something way more complex than carrying trays and cups: playing instruments. In addition to their 5 ft robot playing Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance on the violin(shown above) they also have robots that play the drums and trumpet. And you thought Guitar Hero on Wii was mind blowing.
POLE DANCING ROBOTS
Credit cards only.