According to Rowan Hooper in a recent article in Japan Times ,  the word ‘robot’ comes from a Czech word meaning ‘drudgery’ or ‘forced labor’, suggesting that robots are servants to man.   Now its seems we’re not so sure.   The UK scientists who named their robot Adam, last week announced that it/he  is able to carry out each stage of a scientific study – thinking, planning, assessing and testing – automatically, without the need for human intervention.    The implications of that can be pretty scary.

In Japan, robots are pretty common place, trusted to make sushi, cars and take care of the elderly.   Other countries are looking at using robots more widely as well but the Japanese seem to accept them more readily then others.   

In addition, according to an article in McKnights, the Japanese government announced earlier in the year that they hope to have robot nurses in place in 5 years to care for their rapidly growing elderly population.    They, like many countries, are facing increasing need for services for the elderly while facing a decrease in the number of workers available to care for them.