Robotics: Robots said more useful than pets
Japan Times Mar 12 2001 3:31PM ET
Electronic robots are gradually becoming familiar companions among some Japanese families and hospital patients, offering them entertainment and peace of mind.
AIBO offers its appendage to an unidentified women at a Tokyo department store.
The robots vary from those that look like puppies to humanoid ones that can walk leisurely on two legs, pour wine into a glass or even express emotions.
While not all of them have made inroads into Japanese households, Atsuo Takanishi, a professor at Waseda University's faculty of science and technology, reckons that in the future, robots will emerge that are more useful than pets.
Robots are gaining popularity probably because they can be kept in apartments and condominiums that are off-limits to pets. They also do not require any exercise or food.
Sony Corp.'s line of AIBO pet robots -- modeled on dogs and lion cubs and equipped with built-in electronic functions to mimic sorrow, anger, surprise, fear and hatred -- have been getting favorable reactions from their owners.