Robot Magazine brings us this simple test to determine whether a robot is real or vaporware. I took the test myself. Clarise scores a negative two and thus is PURE VAPOR! Rover scores quite a bit better with a five, but is still PURE VAPOR! I guess just having wheels or legs of any kind counts for a lot.

Newscientist reports that Ubiko, a Japanese "greeter robot" is now available for rental at a cost of $445 per hour. Twenty companies have so far agreed to hire the robot. Here in the US, though, we like to pay as little as possible for labor, which means paying (possibly illegal) immigrants cash under the table. However, the Ubiko– which not only issues greetings, but can answer questions, carry baggage, and guide people around buildings– can be purchased for $255,000. A robot can work twenty-four hours a day, 365 days per year, so even if the robot only lasts one year, the Ubiko costs $30.00 per hour. Sure, that’s still something like five minimum-wage, no-benefit employees. Of course, if the Ubiko is engineered as well as the Mars rovers , then it should last quite a bit longer than a year. Then again, I’m pretty sure there are no vandals on Mars.


Aieee! It’s the paper replicant! Make : has an article on a man who is replicating himself on paper. His site even has a PDF version of himself that you can download, print, cut and glue into something that looks just a bit like that guy from Red Dwarf…

Yeah, him.

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