In a new book called "Loving the Machine," author Timothy Hornyak presents a cultural history of robots in Japan, where the high-tech machines are much more likely to have a friendly face than in places like the U.S. The robots may even be downright cuddly.
Hornyak opens the handsomely illustrated book with a depiction of a brilliantly yellow household robot called Wakamaru, from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. In creating Wakamaru, designer Toshiyuki Kita imagined a growing child and aimed to deliver "an object that can approach its user." It uses a laser and cameras to track and recognize people, and uses an extensive vocabulary to greet them or provide information such as weather forecasts.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries