Japan, the nation of robots, is giving away a government-supported “robot award” every year, aiming to identify the robots that are of high value to mankind in that year. In 2008, for example, a rice transplanting robot and a hose-shaped rescue robot are nominated for the Grand Prize.
The Japanese, however, also think of the other side of the spectrum by professionally organizing the Bacarobo [JP], a contest whose goal is to grant prizes to Japan’s dumbest robots (dumb in this context means the robots must be totally useless and funny). This year’s winner, announced last Saturday, is called YKRN.
YKRN is a robot that features face recognition technology and can choose faces it likes or dislikes. The inventors, a group of researchers from the University of Tokyo, received $5,000 of prize money.
The video (subtitled in English) shows a number of this year’s entries, some of which are just hilarious. Here [JP] is another one that’s made by one of the organizers .
Via CScout Japan