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Developer Katsumori Sakakibara (left) wears a head-mounted display to demonstrate a prototype remote-controlled robot called Caiba (right)
Developer Katsumori Sakakibara (left) wears a head-mounted display to demonstrate a prototype remote-controlled robot called Caiba (right)


A Japanese inventor is hoping a robot that still needs humans will win over Asia's largest tech fair.
The robot experts thinks that his little Caiba droid will act as an alternative to the artificial intelligence currently being developed by major technology firms.
Katsumori Sakakibara showcased the robot at the annual Cutting-Edge IT and Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC), which kicked off today near Tokyo and which is Asia's biggest tech fair.

Waist-high Caiba - whose name means hippocampus, a key area of the brain, in Japanese - is controlled by a human wearing a virtual reality handset and mechanical arms.
If the person waves their arms, the little robot follows suit. 
But whatever Caiba does, it depends on a human to control it.
'People say what an amazing AI (artificial intelligence) we're using for the robot. So I tell them: 'well, it's actually a middle-aged guy',' Sakakibara told AFP during a press preview this week.
'Humans are more flexible in that they can recognise a huge amount of different information, but so far AI can only be used in limited situations' such as playing chess, he added.
'We thought it would be better to use humans instead of AI.'
Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are among a growing number of technology firms that have been investing in making machines smarter, contending the goal is to improve lives through artificial intelligence.

Some critics, however, have warned that AI could turn on humanity and be its ruin instead of a salvation.
Less risky to the future of humanity was a robot arm made by automation parts maker Omron that can play - and coach - humans at ping pong.

An exhibitor plays table tennis with Omron's FORPHEUS robot at the CEATEC show. The robot was earlier certificated by Guinness World Records as the first robot table tennis tutor
An exhibitor plays table tennis with Omron's FORPHEUS robot at the CEATEC show. The robot was earlier certificated by Guinness World Records as the first robot table tennis tutor. dailymail

Hitachi displays its autonomous one-person mobility robot Ropits (Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System)  
Hitachi displays its autonomous one-person mobility
 robot Ropits (Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport
 System)

 Japan's electronic parts maker Murata displays a formation of dancing robots, known as the Murata Cheerleaders
Japan's electronic parts maker Murata displays a formation
 of dancing robots, known as the Murata Cheerleaders

The machine is now a Guinness World Record holder as the first robot table tennis tutor, according to the company.
'It can now understand if a player is a beginner or experienced and change how it plays,' said Omron's Taku Oya, referring to the robot's AI capabilities.
It can even give a compliment or two in text that appears on a screen beside the ping pong table.
'A perfect serve!' it says, or apologises for missing a ball.
'But its AI is not good enough so that it could beat professional table tennis players,' Oya warned.

Toyota tiny communication robot Kirobo Mini which can recognize faces and voices and make conversation
Kiichiro Miyata (R) Managing Executive Officer and CTO of Omron Corporation receives a Guinness World Record certificate for the robot FORPHEUS robot
 Kiichiro Miyata (right) Omron managing executive officer 
and CTO receives a Guinness World Record certificate for 
the robot FORPHEUS robot.

Electronics parts maker Rohm demonstrates a remote controlled flying paper crane robot called Orizuru which can be controlled by a wrist watch shaped device
Electronics parts maker Rohm demonstrates a remote controlled flying paper crane robot called Orizuru which can be controlled by a wrist watch shaped device

Japanese auto firm Denso, a subsidiary of Toyota, displays a robotic limb designed to support a surgeon's arm
Japanese auto firm Denso, a subsidiary of Toyota, displays a robotic limb designed to support a surgeon's arm

Meanwhile, Sharp is taking aim at the housing market with pint-sized Rin-chan, which can operate home appliances based on its owners' feelings.
For example, if a house dweller says 'it's too hot', the robot will turn on the air conditioning.
Another star of the show is a mug-sized, doe-eyed robot called Kirobo Mini made by Toyota as a chatty companion for its human owners.

Sharp displays a voice controlled robot to control home electrical appliances
Sharp displays a voice controlled robot to control home electrical appliances

Japan's Seven Dreamers Laboratories president Shinichi Sakane displays the world's first automatic laundry folding machine, called Laundroid 1
Japan's Seven Dreamers Laboratories president Shinichi Sakane displays the world's first automatic laundry folding machine, called Laundroid 1. dailymail

The 10 centimetre (four inch) tall robot will go on sale next year in Japan for 39,800 yen ($400 or £313).
Meanwhile, Sakakibara hopes his little firm's AI-free droid could be used as a translator or guide at airports and other tourist spots.
'This way, translators don't have to run around - they can just sit at a central office and connect with the robots,' he said.
'It's a more efficient use of manpower.'

Japanese robot creator Tomotaka Takahashi holds humanoid robot smartpone RoBoHoN
Japanese robot creator Tomotaka Takahashi holds humanoid robot smartpone RoBoHoN

Murata Manufacturing shows off a formation of dancing robots, known as the Murata Cheerleaders, along with Murata Boy, a robot that can ride a bike
Murata Manufacturing shows off a formation of dancing robots, known as the Murata Cheerleaders, along with Murata Boy, a robot that can ride a bike. dailymail



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