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Robotic Baby Seal is Good for You

Back to one of my favourite topics.

A short article in the UK's Financial Times: How humanoids won the hearts of Japanese industry covers familiar ground but introduces me to a robotic baby seal Paro that uses sensors to react to the way that it is treated by humans. It apparently reduces stress levels in the elderly and is popular, despite costing several thousand dollars.

Still, walking robots are even more expensive--about the same price as a Ferrari--though costs would fall with volume to about that of a cheap car.

The article makes an interesting inference about why Japanese are less suspicious of robots than Westerners. The Shinto religion allows for a living spirit to inhabit inanimate objects, whereas Christianity has found the notion of man creating an image of himself sacriligeous. Hmmm.

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