Only in Japan: The cute snowplow

It's a robot too--what else could they possibly need?

Only the Japanese could find something kawaii in a machine so utilitarian as a snowplow. Not only that, but the "Yuki-taro" combines the country's cuteness fetish with another national obsession-- robots .

Pink Tentacle says the driverless machine is no ordinary plow, guiding itself by GPS and video cameras embedded in its eye sockets to make sure that it gobbles every bit of snow in its path, Pac-Man style. Unlike traditional counterparts, the Yuki-taro compacts the consumed snow into blocks that can be stored and used as a refrigeration source.

We pray, though probably in futility, that they don't design one of these in the image of the dreaded cat .

About the author

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

     

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