The tmsuk-04 is here to shop

Asimo walking
Immobile grandmother goes shopping with granddaughter using robot

Japanese robot developer tmsuk has introduced a robot designed to go shopping in your place without you having to leave the comforts of home. According to data-max a southern Japan news website, on July 10th the humanoid shaped TMSUK-4 was demonstrated at the Izutsuya department store in the city of Kitakyushu, Japan.

For the demonstration, an unwell grandmother unable to go shopping herself sent the robot in her place with her granddaughter. Using an NTT DoCoMo video-capable cellphone, the grandmother was able to view what the robot saw while controlling the robot from home. In front of curious shoppers the grandmother maneuvered the robot to the hat section and had her granddaughter try out a few before actually purchasing one.

According to tmsuk, several of these tmsuk-4 model robots have already been manufactured and already sold to Japanese Universities. tmsuk's goal is to develop robots useful to humans and the tmsuk-4 is a step in that direction.

During my travels in Japan I had the opportunity to take in a robot exhibit being held at the National Science Museum in Ueno Park. This exhibit featured the Asimo Robot developed by Honda. I was treated to a live demonstration of what the Asimo was capable of. The Asimo which is bi-pedal unlike the tmsuk-4 was able to walk, run, and serve tea. Overall the Asimo appeared to be capable of more functions than the tmsuk-4

Japan has long had a fascination with robots. Mech based games and animation are very popular, and robots have been used extensively in Japan's manufacturing industry for decades. I personally think the Japanese would be very welcoming as robots are introduced in to daily life so that mundane tasks can be delegated.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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