Mailman, move over for 'Motoman'

Japan develops robot that can sort packages.

We may not be advocates of Japan's future human-free society , but we do think there's at least some hope: A few of the country's robots are actually providing some useful functions like doing the dishes , not just handing out Kleenex or presiding over weddings (perhaps both, at some auto-nuptials).

Yaskawa Electric

The latest practically minded bot comes from Mitsui and Yaskawa Electric, which have partnered with the Hokusho packaging systems company to develop a mechanical worker that can sort parcels, clothing and other relatively small objects. The "Motoman-DIA10," according to Pink Tentacle, has "a pair of smooth-moving, seven-axis robotic arms mounted on a human-sized torso."

We're not sure which is more frightening--the part about the human torso or its name, which sounds like the closest thing yet to something that can truly replace us. Oh well, it was just a matter of time anyway.

About the author

    Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Don't Miss
    Hot Products
    Trending on CNET

    Don't miss out

    Join CNET for an exclusive live-stream chat with Google Lunar XPrize teams

    Five representatives from the finalist Milestone teams will tell us how they plan to get to the moon and win $30 million next year. You won't want to miss this exclusive CNET event.