Oh, you silly Japanese. Ladies and gentlemen, you can now add a goldfish-catching robot to your wishlist. Face the facts: Aibos are so passé and that mecha on eBay is just too pricey.
Researchers at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) have designed a robot they hope to enter into an annual goldfish catching competition for children, which takes place on August 20 in the nearby city of Yamatokoriyama.
Check out this page (in Japanese) with a link to the video. While the robot’s 3-minute haul of between 6 and 10 goldfish is paltry compared to kiddie experts, who can apparently hoist 60-plus fish, the mechanical arm/overhead camera/computer contraption is an interesting study on the ability of computers to potentially study moving cars or crowds.
Maybe I’m the only one who experienced this, but I can’t help but think of the time when my elementary school would stay open one night each year; teachers and kids would bring their families for food, prizes and games throughout the school, one of which involved goldfish. Now I’m picturing the event with a hulking robot, yards of cabling and a team of Japanese at the helm and, for some reason, it seems really weird.
[Courtesy New Scientist]