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NEC recently announced that after years of research, they have developed a technology that makes the difference between robots and their on-screen computer graphics (CG) counterparts less marked. NEC demonstrated the new technology with this friendly-looking robot named PaPeRo and its CG sidekick, PaPeRo CG. The whole purpose of this is to make interaction between humans and robots, be they real or stuck inside a computer screen, easier. You could talk to your real robot, then take its memory chip and transfer it over to a PC or PDA, then pick up the conversation right where you left off. Not only is that incredibly creepy, but it smacks a little bit of trying to make man and robot friends, equals if you will. Before you start sending angry letters to NEC about them trying to play God, just keep in mind that they plan to use this research to improve user interfaces on cellphones and navigation systems. At this point, it's just a matter of time until there's 900 numbers with robots on the other end of the line.

NEC's Personal Robot Gets New Virtual Friend [BIOS]