Japanese quite open to home robots, Roomba and friends most popular

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Would you like to have a robot around the house? graph of japanese statistics@nifty recently surveyed its members to find out their opinions on robots.

I don’t know what ASIMO, Honda’s walking robot, is doing in the list of household robots; as far as I am aware it is nothing more than a technology promotion, with no plans to commercialise. I’m also surprised to see Panasonic’s Mr Evolta, which again I understand to be just a vehicle for promoting their recharable batteries. Regardless, it’s interesting to so how well-known these names are.

This is my favourite robot statue that pre-dates the more famous life-size Gundam, a life-size Testujin 28-go.

Tetsujin 28
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Intelligent robots: friends or foes?

Do you hold hopes or fears for Biglobe recently published an interesting survey looking at machine intelligence, synchronised with the Japanese release of the movie Ex Machina.

Given the lack of penetration of any kind of automation tools in the average Japanese workplace, I think the chances of a revolution here are relatively low. On the other hand, if someone teaches the AI how to use a fax, heaven help Japan!

Here’s Pepper and a couple of friends:

Say hello to newest Cusco campaign team! Pepper the Customer Greeting Robot. #PepperRobot #CuscoJapan #CuscoRacing #TakasakiKusuko #campaigngirl #racequeen
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Two-thirds of Japanese open to robo-nursing

Would you want to be cared for by a Care Robot? graph of japanese statisticsThe Cabinet Office of Japan recengtly conducted a survey looking at care robots.

Demographics

Between the 1st and 11th of August 2013 3,000 members of the public with Japanese nationality were randomly selected. 1,842 of them (61.4%) chose to answer the questionnaire at face-to-face interviews. Further demographic breakdown was not provided.

Before you get the idea of robo-nurses into your head, as can be seen in the preamble to Q4 it is more just technology to assist the carer and the cared-for rather than the science-fiction image of autonomous androids tending to their human wards.
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Why Japanese bought robot vacuums

Which model of robot cleaner did you buy? graph of japanese statisticsThis short survey from the curiously-named Seed Planning looked at robot vacuum cleaners.

Demographics

At some point between February and July this year 400 purchasers of robot vacuum cleaners were selected and completed a survey. No further information was presented.

One reason that this survey is short is that it basically a teaser for a recently-released full market report into the robot cleaner business, but at 157,500 yen per copy, forgive me if I give it a miss this time around.

I perhaps want a robot cleaner, but I don’t think it would suit our house; both the sofa and main bed are just too close to the floor to squeeze a robot in.
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Japanese girls love big mechs too

Following on from yesterday’s look at Neon Genesis Evangelion, lets look today with iShare again at big mech anime, or cartoons of giant robots knocking lumps out of each other for those not familiar with the technical terms.

Demographics

Between the 11th and 16th of June 2009 600 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 56.7% of the sample were male, 35.8% in their twenties, 29.5% in their thirties, and 34.7% in their forties.

I’m not sure what Atom Boy is doing in Q1SQ2, and if he is included, why not Doraemon too?

A Gundam robot in Tokyo is one of the capital’s attempts to sway the Olympic committee into picking Japan for 2016. Here’s a video of it in action:


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Home robots wanted by most Japanese women

As the average Japanese man does just the least amount of housework amongst the developed nations, perhaps that is one reason that this survey from iBridge Research Plus and reported on by japan.internet.com found that robotic home appliances were viewed favourably by many Japanese women.

Demographics

On the 29th of June 2009 300 female members of the iBridge monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 19.3% of the sample were in their twenties, 38.3% in their thirties, 26.7% in their forties, 11.7% in their fifties, and 4.0% in their sixties.

Q1SQ1 asked about “domestic appliance robots” and “Robotic domestic appliances”; I think the difference that this is trying to highlight is a general purpose robotic helper (your very own personal ASIMO) versus a single-purpose item with autonomic actions, such as the Roomba cleaner.
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Roomba out-ranks Robo-Cop in Japan

Would you want to use a robotic domestic appliance? graph of japanese statisticsAccording to a recent survey on robots conducted by JR Tokai Express Research Inc and reported on by japan.internet.com, domestic robots are broadly welcomed, but there is strong reluctance towards letting robots help out with the softer skills.

Demographics

One the 4th of September 2007 331 members of the JR Tokai Express Research online monitor panel employed in the public and private sectors answered a private internet-based questionnaire. 77.3% of the sample was male, 12.7% in their twenties, 38.7% in their thirties, 33.8% in their forties, 13.9% in their fifties, and 0.9% in their sixties.

A Roomba might be nice around our living room to occassionally scoot around and pick up fluff and crumbs from under the sofa and the table, although I don’t really see it as a substitute for my weekly hoovering, just something that makes my job a bit easier on Sunday mornings. I don’t really see how a clothes washing robot could be effectively made; tasks like hanging out the washing, for instance, are rather intricate, and going around the house picking up dirty clothes is a nice image but impractical given the current state of the art in robotics.
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Almost half of Japanese would anthropomorphise their robots

Want to use a domestic robot in the future? graph of japanese opinionjapan.internet.com finally got out of holiday mode and published their first summary of a survey for the new Year, one conducted by JR Tokai Express Research on the 28th of December on the prospect of domestic robots. 330 members of their research monitor group successfully completed the internet-based questionnaire. 46.7% of the sample was male, 13.3% in their twenties, 51.2% in their thirties, 27.0% in their forties, 6.4% in their fifties, and 2.1% in their sixties.

This is a subject that I have previously reported on, but in the year or so since I did that translation there seems to have been a bit of a shift in favour of robots.

Note that in Q2, the “robo-partner” answer does seem to mean seeing the robot as a spouse!
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Robo-cop or robo-hoover?

MyVoice recently published this survey regarding home robots. For me personally, all this robot stuff is very gimmicky; static sensor arrays would be much more useful for almost all purposes (except for vaccuuming of course), and the cost of static machinery is far lower that making some virtually useless moving guard robot, given today’s, or even tomorrow’s technology. However, with almost two-thirds of respondents failing to register anxiety at the robotisation of the home, and half keen on welcoming them into their homes, surely this is nothing but another win for the Lizard Alliance and the RoTM™?

MyVoice surveyed 17,958 people registered in the MyVoice community; 42% male and 39% in their thirties. The results are as follows:

Q1: Do you think you’d want to use a robot in your home?

I absolutely want to use13.9%
I probably want to use36.0%
I can’t say whether I want to or not29.6%
I don’t really want to use12.2%
I absolutely don’t want to use8.3%

Q2: What sort of robot functions do you want to use? (Multiple answer)

Cleaning the house58.4%
Crime prevention55.3%
Home minding39.2%
Tidying up after meals34.4%
Clothes washing26.8%
Ironing23.1%
Cooking22.1%
Carrying baggage21.8%
Healing19.9%
Play18.9%
Nursing17.7%
Driving car16.9%
Work or study help15.3%
Communication or chat15.1%
Health management12.0%
Child minding or child eduction10.4%
Others2.2%
I don’t want to use a robot11.3%
No answer0.2%

Note: the difference between “crime prevention” and “home minding” is probably that “crime prevention” implies detection of intruders, whereas “home minding” is more just monitoring the house, answering the phone or the door, watching the cat, etc.

Q3: If you bought a robot, up to about how much would you pay?

Up to 10,000 yen11.9%
10,000 to 100,000 yen37.8%
100,000 to 200,000 yen13.4%
200,000 to 300,000 yen7.0%
300,000 to 500,000 yen5.2%
500,000 to 1,000,000 yen5.0%
1,000,000 to 10,000,000 yen1.1%
Over 10,000,000 yen0.2%
I don’t think I want to buy18.0%
No answer0.5%

Q4: Are you uneasy about the spread of home robots?

I feel completely uneasy about it6.7%
I’m a little uneasy about it27.4%
I can’t say whether I am uneasy or not34.1%
I don’t really feel uneasy22.4%
I don’t feel uneasy at all8.4%
No answer1.0%
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