Super-realistic Japanese robots are working in medical settings, as receptionists in offices, and as greeters in retail stores. They’re working on creating robots that can provide companionship to the elderly and therapy to infants. They can also work as TV anchors and as nurses, with a high level of customer satisfaction.
These humanoid robots have silicone skin and nearly 100 servo motors helping them to have human-like movements.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the latest crop of robot movies shows robots rising up, as in the 1921 play that gave us the term “robot,” and destroying their human creators. Industrial robots are on the rise, but we don’t see robots in daily life, not even in fast food restaurants where they would probably solve many problems.
The difference may be in the origin of robots in the two societies. Robots in the U.S. started out as something like weapons, while Japan’s word for “robot” is more like “puppet.” Japanese concepts of robots have more in common with stylized drama and dolls than with dangerous machinery.
It has been suggested that animist traditions in Japan have made the Japanese more open to robots, since the idea of inanimate objects having personalities and lives is more acceptable to an animist than to people in Western religious traditions, where giving life or personality to objects is associated with idolatry or hubris.
A recent study comparing attitudes toward robots among academics in Japan and the U.S. found that people in the U.S. felt much warmer toward humans than toward robots, while Japanese survey subjects felt only slightly fonder of people than of robots. The authors of the study concluded that there wasn’t that much difference in attitudes; they seemed to expect that Americans would fear robots and Japanese subjects might like them better than humans. They decided that their next study would leave the humans out.
We offer 100% human service when you have issues with your Rexroth electric drives, controls, and servo motors, whether you’re using them to power dolls or weapons or (more likely) printing presses and industrial machinery. We have the largest stock of emergency replacement units in the nation, and can bring them to you by chartered plane.