Japanese invent bone-snapping robot

Why you shouldn’t wrestle robots
When you arm-wrestle a robot, you really can’t expect to win. Say you arm-wrestle Data from Star Trek. He’d kick your ass so fast it’d make your head spin. Even C-3PO. Sure, he’s a bit of a wimp and he got his arm torn off by a Tusken Raider, but I guarantee he will handily beat you when it comes to the manly pursuit of arm-wrasslin’.

So it should come as no surprise that three people have suffered broken arms after playing an arm-wresting game that pits you, pathetic human, against a pneumatically-powered machine. The game originated in Japan (why am I not surprised) and its creators insist that it was put to all manner of tests to ensure its safety. Whether than involved testing it with humans, I don’t know.(I suspect they used chimps.)

The game has been pulled from arcades, but the manufacturer insists that injuries occurred because the victims couldn’t read the Japanese instructions. I don’t read Japanese either but I’m guessing they go something like this: Keep walking unless you think you’re stronger than a robot. That means you with the stringy arms, girly-man.

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Put the Mars bar down before I break your arm
Some robots hurt, some robots heal. If movies like Terminator have taught us anything, it’s that. Whereas in Japan they’re creating robots designed to snap your tiny bones like twigs, in other parts of the world they’re building mechanical weight-loss coaches. It might feel like an ungodly amount of pain and anguish when your metallic conscience is preventing you from eating that second doughnut, but he really has your long-term health in mind. Nice robot.

It’s the creation of a group from MIT (where smart people grow on trees and trees grow in labs designed to make them resistant to insect infestations and the deleterious effects of dog pee).

You input your food intake via a keypad attached to the robot. You also verbally tell the machine how much exercise you’ve had. Here’s the really creepy part: it knows whether you’re lying or not using cameras trained on your eyes and facial recognition software scans your glum mug for signs of fibbing or exaggeration. Wouldn’t it just be easier to buy a padlock for the fridge?

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Wii love you
Robots that break your arms and strangle your appetite really aren’t much fun. That’s why I thought I’d include this update on the super-fun Wii, once again proving that a lot of the stuff coming out of Japan isn’t out to kill you, but give you a warm feeling inside. It’s been well-documented that the Wii game console has succeeded far beyond Nintendo’s (or anyone else’s) expectations, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t pause to figure out why. Perhaps I’m biased, but as a long time Nintendo fan it’s nice to see them returned to the spotlight.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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