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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.


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Japan has long had a fascination with robots.
By Creig on 7/23/2008 7:51:22 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, and they've had an even bigger fascination with giant, mutated, destructive monsters. Let's hope their scientists don't focus on creating those next.




RE: Japan has long had a fascination with robots.
By noxipoo on 7/23/2008 10:48:38 AM , Rating: 3
they would invent something with lots of tentacles with a penchant for school girls before that.


RE: Japan has long had a fascination with robots.
By DASQ on 7/23/2008 3:31:29 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed.

Tentacle fascination goes far beyond robot fascination.


By SilthDraeth on 7/24/2008 9:38:29 AM , Rating: 2
Memoirs of a Geisha

They talk about the eel visiting the cave. That movie has historical roots, and is supposed to be somewhat accurate. That may be where the tentacle fascination comes from.


By ggordonliddy on 7/22/2008 9:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
Why couldn't the granddaughter just point the phone's camera at the products?




By tmouse on 7/23/2008 7:36:56 AM , Rating: 3
I guess its just publicity. After all unless grandma has a head the size of a cantaloupe putting a hat on that tiny robohead will not give her any better idea of how it would look on her than a picture (she would also have to have a very pale complexion). I wonder if she can return it and say it looked great on the robot but not on her? ;)

I suppose they could offer realistic molded heads but that would really be scary, seeing grandmas head wheeling around.....brrrrrrrrrrr

It would also not be to good to use for shopping for undergarments (won’t go there)


By Hakuryu on 7/23/2008 9:39:46 AM , Rating: 3
Buying a hat : 50 yen
Browsing stuff with your grand-daughter : priceless... oh wait, 500,000 yen

I bet people would be stealing these left and right, hacking them to do crazy stuff, or even just knocking them down to get that 'big pos out of my way'.


By TSS on 7/23/2008 4:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
it's simple economics. supply and demand.

supply of pirates has been plenty, however supply of ninja's has been severely lacking, while the demand for epicness continues to rise. to compensate, the japanese are building robots for everything to fill in the gap. but i belive both sides are still plotting to take full control.

this is all preparation. so that the kids of our kid's kids can debate which side is more epic: the robot ninja's or the space pirates.


Sad day
By FITCamaro on 7/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Sad day
By ZaethDekar on 7/22/2008 10:49:50 AM , Rating: 2
Have you seen Wall-E? If not I sugjest you do... it is quite funny what humans became.

I agree though, I don't want robots to replace everything. Isn't a large problem here in the states unemployment? If robots do more work then what will we do? (Reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) Loose the job to the robot, then get the job to fix the robot.


RE: Sad day
By tmouse on 7/23/2008 7:39:50 AM , Rating: 2
To be honest we do not need robots for that to happen, the internet can also do it. Shopping, especially for teen girls is more of a social thing anyway


These Romans are crazy !
By pmonti80 on 7/22/2008 11:09:56 AM , Rating: 2
These Japanese are crazy !!!

by Obelix




RE: These Romans are crazy !
By jlips6 on 7/22/2008 8:18:22 PM , Rating: 2
wow... this brings back so many memories...


One step forward
By LyCannon on 7/24/2008 11:32:27 AM , Rating: 2
This robot is an essential step forward needed to make robots a common thing. This is more of a proof-of-concept. The fact that grandma can from her home, remotely control this robot speaks a lot for the robots ability, and whatever interface they have for grandma to use.




By phazers on 7/24/2008 1:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
Now that I know it's about robots going shopping, I wonder if they can be programmed to shoplift too :). You could fit quite a lot of stuff under that huge robo-skirt shown in the picture...




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