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Humanoid robots are coming

Humanoid robots are on display this weekend in Yokohama, Japan. This is the site of the world’s largest robot exhibition, which has showcased over 90 different types of robots for colleges, organizations, and over 35 robotics companies such as Aibo, Sony, and Seiko Epson.

These are serious toys, with the average cost of hiring a single robot at upwards of 20 million yen a year. The price is somewhat reflective of the efforts put into refining their movements and gestures to be closer to human movement. The most popular bot this year is Honda’s Asimo. Though not particularly useful, it can recognize individual faces and understands simple gestures as well as spoken commands.

The top robotics companies are moving towards building robots to be used as tools. By increasing these robots' strength, speed, and abilities, however, it leaves us wondering who will be used as the tool for whom?

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