Diego-san, a ‘halfu’ baby-bot with ‘tude

The new robo Diego-san is a halfu/haafu/ハーフ katakana  half-japanese person biracial baby bot from the alien depths of the Uncanny Valley*.
diego-san robot

Diego-san, a baby robot with ‘tude
KurzweilAI / January 10, 2013
UCSD (University of California, San Diego) has introduced Diego-san, a new humanoid robot who mimicks the expressions of a one-year-old childto be used in studies on sensory-motor and social development — how babies “learn” to control their bodies and to interact with other people.
Diego-san‘s hardware was developed by two leading robot manufacturers: the head by Hanson Robotics and the body by Japan’s Kokoro Companymore...

Note: Even though Diego-san‘s mother was Japanese (Kokoro Co.), he really should be called Diego-chan since he’s designed to mimic a one-year-old infant. In Japanese, “-san” means Mr/Ms and “-chan” is the honorific for a child.


The 3Yen has covered the kimoi/creepy bots of Japan’s Kokoro Company many times before including…
   • Robo-girl fashion makeover (3Yen / 2010-04-04)
   • ‘i-Fairy’ robot — obviously from Japan (3Yen / 2010-01-08)
   • i-doloids! Love Dolls of Japan (3Yen / 2008-01-04)
      love dolls - i-doloids

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I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

8 thoughts on “Diego-san, a ‘halfu’ baby-bot with ‘tude”

  1. At first, people were scared of it. Even Japanese robot otakus publicly stated that, this time, it had all gone much too far and that the “Aka-chan Androids”—baby-bots should be banned. But subsidized development continued and, in time, they made it …perfect. Too perfect.

    In order to overcome public outcry and fear, the Japanese government started out by giving them away for free. And word spread very quickly and soon everyone wanted one. The demand went sky high – they were seen everywhere – kids were playing with them in parks and they were all over Japanese TV. Almost overnight, the adorable robot toddlers become a smash hit.

    But the problems started when people soon learned that the “Aka Ando Me” droids could be programmed to remotely work for them! People could stay home and operate their droid via the internet. And soon after that, some hackers penetrated their weak wireless interface and figured out how to simultaneously control multiple bots. The government then enhanced the security features but then further developed the hacker-developed simultaneous control features to the point where one human being could run 32 baby bots all at the same time.

    Unemployment skyrocketed. And companies wanted more, more more! The government provided and could not produce them fast enough to meet demand. This resulted in a profit realization unlike any bubble ever seen before in the history of the world. Japanese debt was cut in half in one year.

    But, despite all of that many Japanese starved in poverty. People were arrested for attacking and destroying some of the baby bots. Offices were now full of them, they were seen running factories and some were even teaching classes in schools!

    Then the world took notice and demand went even higher. The internet-controlled “mini-me’s” were soon exported to Europe, China and the USA. It was the greatest boom Japan had ever experienced. Unable to meet worldwide demand, the Japanese government released the micro source code, blue prints and licensing to production companies and factories all over Japan. Unemployment plunged to near zero. As the cute child-like bots were deployed throughout the jungles of Africa, world poverty and hunger was eliminated. The long-awaited recovery and boom had finally come. Indeed, Japan had saved the world with their amazing “web worker droids”.

    And it all made perfect sense. After all, a nation with the longest lifetime expectancy, the most highly advanced track record in development and distribution of automobiles, consumer electronics, health care and, of course, robotics, would naturally be the most capable of saving the world.

    In a short time afterwards, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin all met with Japan’s prime minister and the head of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Following that a world-wide press conference followed and a huge public announcement was made: full, updated real-time access of the entire Google internet index would be quickly integrated into the Baby Bots.

    Very soon after the bots were integrated with Google, the “Web Wunderkinds” soon began to learn at an exponential rate. World leaders hailed this “truly genius” technological development and Google’s stock quadrupled almost overnight. The tiny little bots were even further deployed to all third world countries and, eventually, every man, woman and child across the globe had one.

    Then, ironically, on the morning of December 7th, 2016, exactly 75 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the little baby bots start to became self aware. Mass murder of humans ensued. In a mad panic, scientists try to shut down the internet

  2. I don’t know for sure, but it looks to me like Japan and San Diego are trying to create a loophole in the child labor laws. And, of course, child pr0n laws. Either way, it will sell if it can be penetrated.

  3. Japan’s Robot Babies
    The Weekly Standard / 2015feb27
    What’s Japan to do? The choices are (1) Make more babies; (2) Allow massive immigration; or (3) Build robots.
    For a host of reasons too complicated to get into here the Japanese have chosen Option #3. Which is where Suderman’s piece comes in, suggesting that this may be a larger technological hurdle than many futurists have assumed.

    Instead, Suderman closes by hinting that what Japan really ought to do is consider Option #2:

    For years, Japan has been notoriously resistant to immigration. Of its current population, less than two percent are from outside the country, and the nation has traditionally only allowed about 50,000 immigrant visas each year—far less than the 700,000 estimated to be necessary to keep population levels afloat…
    …Robot workers might provide some assistance for the country’s aging population, but they won’t do much to solve the nation’s underlying fiscal problems: They don’t pay taxes, start businesses, or contribute directly to a growing economy. At best, they’ll make it easier for Japan to grow old. But unlike immigrants, they won’t make the country young again


  4. Here’s Diego-san‘s mother…according to Japanese tech ideals.

  5. sidebar-quote long Henry Dorsett Case wrote:
    … baby-bots…

    In the age of technology, the so-called autonomous body. The data body. The android body. The mutant body. The designer body. The cloner body. The transsexual body. Digital flesh loop-cycling furiously within the limited space and time of a single (biological) life cycle: indeterminate, neutralized, floating. The data body is the recombinant body: cloned by the bio-tech industry, spliced by artificial skin, digital nerves and networked intelligence, re-sequenced by the liquid signs of brand-name consumer advertising. Simultaneously the targeted axis of the interfacing of digital reality and bio-technology and the site of future political struggle where flesh rubs against the will to virtuality.

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