Yoshiko Hara of EE Times reports that, for Japanese scientists, the drive to develop humanoid robots has as much to do with Atom the boy robot than it does with practical business considerations. As a result, Japan leads the world in the effort to develop two-legged computerized machines. Stories about robotic characters are an important part of popular, adult culture and help drive the demand for research. Though the US military is interested in some of the robots that are being developed, many Japanese seem more interested in robots that dance well.
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