Loving The Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots is a must-have for robotics fans. By this I don't mean the evil world domination type robots from the movies. Rather, these are the various types of, usually helpful, robots created by Japanese companies. Penned by Timothy N.Hornyak, this book will appeal to both general tech fans and lovers of Japanese robot culture.
The book covers a lot of the history of Japanese robot development. In this way, it also explores the way of thinking that encouraged such development. By the way, this is the first time I came across the references to ‘Karakuri' references and needless to say it blew my mind away. It dates back to the 18th century where folks created cute mechanized puppets. Most of them were used either for personal entertainment or for public performances (i.e. theatre).
The rest of the book covers the different types of robots that have surfaced in modern day Japan. Most of them have been reported in a number of blogs so it is old news as such. However, it proves as fun reading as you learn a bit more about the developers behind each robot and the various quirks involved in creating such bots. Even if you are familiar with most of the recent robots, it is fascinating to see a number of them listed together. It's definitely a weird 'Look how far we have come' moment for the reader then. Unfortunately, a lot of them are not used worldwide … yet.