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"Japanese robot programmed to love...a little too much.
by Chris Iaquinta
US, March 6, 2009 - Ever have a super needy significant other that demanded all of your love and attention and would freak whenever you would leave them alone? Irritating, right? Now imagine the same situation, only with an asexual third generation humanoid robot with 100kg arms. Basically you get Fatal Attraction with a terminator cast in the lead role. Such was the torture subjected upon Japanese researchers recently when their most advanced robot, capable of simulating human emotions, ditched its puppy love programming and switched over into stalker mode. LOVE…..KILL….LOVE….KILL!
Kenji recreates the end scene from his favorite movie, An Officer and a Gentlemen.
Meet Kenji, the pride and joy of staff researchers over at the Toshiba Akimu Robotic Research Institute. Designed to replicate complex human emotions, even the robot equivalent of love, Kenji was a part of an experiment involving several robots (robo-porn?) who were built with special software designed to help them react emotionally to external stimuli, such as getting kicked in the robot balls. Kenji immediately took to his programming, developing a close bond with a stuffed doll, which he would hold and embrace for hours at a time. Researchers were thrilled with his progress, until little ol' Kenji started to adapt into the emotionally stable parallel of an orphaned child. A beaten, unloved, orphaned child.
"Despite our initial enthusiasm, it has become clear that Kenji's impulses and behavior are not entirely rational or genuine," conceded Dr. Takahashi.
What does "not entirely rational" mean? Well, for example, a young female intern started to spend several hours with Kenji every day, performing diagnostics. Unbeknownst to her, the tin man had become love struck with his new playmate, going as far as to physically prevent the intern from leaving his room by standing in-between her and the exit. She was only able to get away after phoning technicians who rushed to deactivate Kenji, whose last words were "I'll be back."
Since the incident, whenever Kenji has been re-activated he again instantly bonds with the first person he lays eyes on, ignoring weight issues and/or ugliness -- something we admit were not capable of. He then runs to embrace his new target of affection, hugging them with his superhuman strength. As a result, Dr. Takahashi feels that Kenji will have to be decommissioned permanently, where he will be put to work as Wal-Mart greeter. Or they can use our suggestion, lower him into a vat of liquid metal with him giving us the thumbs up while Edward Furlong watches."