What will it take for robots to end up as regular in our homes and day by day lives as cell phones, TVs, and PCs? Ask roboticist Tomotaka Takahashi. The famous Tokyo professor aims to be “the Steve Jobs of robotics,” he aims to build smartphones in the humanoid form, more charismatic and stylish. And he is putting all his work to build world’s first humanoid smartphone.
How? Basically, by making robots charming, little, and informative. What’s more, internet-enabled; picture a smartphone but with a face and limbs. To achieve this, Takahashi has his secret weapon: He’s getting ready to debut a pocket-sized smart robot with all the features of Siri, designed to look, act, and feel like it’s your close friend.
“It should be fun,” Takahashi says. “Not like Terminator.”
The greater part of our trepidation for the AI ought to be credited to Terminator series. Robots getting self-awareness is also a major concern among many, however it doesn’t prevent Takahashi who plans to build a lovable Astroboy type friendly humanoid smartphone bot.
Takahashi has built a few brilliant machines that are into the Guinness World Records, the longest separation secured by a battery-worked remote-controlled model car, the first friendly robot in space, and the highest altitude for a robot to have a conversation.
“As the entertainment industry in Japan was creating robots as ultra cool toys for boys and girls, [America’s] was creating robots that would take over the world and kill us all,” says roboticist Richard Alan Peters, a professor at Vanderbilt University.
“The new robot is a phone, sold as a phone from a phone company. It is a little bigger than the iPhone 6 Plus,” says Takahashi. “We would like it to be a major hardware platform, just like Nintendo or iPhone.”
It’s still unnamed, and Takahashi declined to give much information about the product. Huffington Post has a few more details.
Tech companies and enthusiasts are giving their best efforts to make safe and cost effective robots, so now we can say without doubt that we will soon have robots in our society, but the important question should be, is humanity ready for them?