John Chamberlain
Developer Diary
 Developer Diary · You Heard It Here First · 18 November 2003
Did You Hug Your Robot Today?
An interesting cultural difference between Japan and America is the way robots are viewed by the average person. In Japan robots are viewed as "helpers" and have a uniformly positive karma. In the United States, however, the reaction is more mixed and many people are suspicious of robots. When robots first appeared in the United States during the 1970s in the form of automatic delivery vehicles in hospitals staff members would sabotage them in various ways, for example, by pushing them down flights of stairs. In the United States the average person often thinks of robots as an enemy intent on depriving them of their livelihood by eliminating their job. The idea that the robot might allow them to go on to a better, higher-paying job does not occur to these people.

Hostile attitudes towards robots damage our country's growth and global competitiveness in immeasurable ways. Japan enjoys a continuous and ongoing advantage over the United States in robotics development largely due to its superior cultural attitude towards robotics. As the importance of robotics grows this advantage may have potentially serious economic and military consequences for the United States.

We need to teach our young generation that robots can help us in all aspects of human life and that their development means greater production, security and wealth for everyone.

Developer Diary · · bio · Revised 18 November 2003 · Pure Content