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日本机器人能说会画 为老年人分忧

Source: 恒星英语学习网  Onion  2010-07-31  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

Robots that can chat, find misplaced glasses, draw aeroplanes and play with your children are attracting thousands of visitors during an expo in Tokyo as Japan adapts to changes in society.

Robots, such as the sound-sensitive Chapit, answer simple questions and even joke with people to help the solitary fight loneliness and stay alert in old age.

"Many older people in Japan live alone and have no one to talk to," said Kazuya Kitamura, a representative of the expo organizer. "Communication robots accompany people and don't mind listening to the same stories over and over again."

While Chapit, a relatively simple robot, managed to attract a corporate partner, many researchers, such as Kiyoshi Matsumoto, a professor at the University of Tokyo, struggle to attract sponsors for more expensive projects.

Matsumoto's "Personal Mobility Robot," equipped with four cameras and a sensor to recognize the user's centre of gravity, is designed to help elderly move around without pressing buttons, using joysticks or rotating wheels as in traditional wheelchairs.

The robot can also help find misplaced spectacles by identifying them with a sensor.

"We have developed a robot that can assist many people, but because of the high cost, we still haven't found a sponsor," said Matsumoto, who added that the cost of the machine, if mass-produced, would be comparable to that of a compact car.

"In the current economic environment there are few companies willing to invest in such a costly project," he said.

Other robots, such as the award-winning "DiGRO" can support busy parents who have little time to play with their children.

The robot can use the Internet to find a simple image and then draw pictures, keeping children company while parents work.

Japan has one of the world's fastest-ageing societies and the government predicts that by 2050 the proportion of people over 65 will reach 40 percent.

在日本东京日前举办的一个博览会上,能与人交谈、帮人找眼镜、会画飞机以及能陪孩子玩耍的机器人吸引了成千上万的参观者。日本研发出的这些新型机器人主要是为了适应社会的需要。

其中像声控型机器人Chapit等(能与人交流的)机器人能回答简单提问,甚至会与人逗笑,可以给人解闷,让老年人保持活力。

博览会组织方代表葛屋北村说:“日本很多老年人都是一个人生活,没人说话。能与人交流的机器人可与人们做伴,同一个故事无论听多少遍也没关系。”

设计相对简单的机器人Chapit吸引了一位公司合伙人的注意,但包括东京大学教授松本清在内的很多研究人员则正在为高投入项目寻找赞助商。

松本清研发的“个人机动机器人”配有四个照相机和一个可识别使用者重心的传感器,这款机器人解决了传统轮椅的不便,老年人无需再通过按按钮、使用操纵杆或转动车轮来四处走动。

这款机器人还可以通过传感器来帮人们找到弄丢的眼镜。

松本清说:“我们已经研发了一款可以帮助很多人的机器人,但由于成本昂贵,还没有找到赞助商。”据他介绍,如果大批量生产,这款机器人的成本相当于一辆小汽车。

他说:“在目前的经济环境下,很少有公司愿意投资成本这么高的项目。”

曾获奖的DiGRO等机器人可以为没时间陪孩子的家长分忧。

这款机器人可以通过网络找到简单的图像,然后把它画下来,在家长出去上班的时候陪小孩玩。

日本是全球老龄化速度最快的国家之一。据日本政府预测,截至2050年,日本65岁以上的老年人占总人口的比例将达40%。

Vocabulary:

mass-produced: produced or manufactured (goods) in large quantities, esp. by machinery(大量生产的)

compact car: 小型汽车


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