Japan's Humanoid Robot Moonbase Plan

There will be a moonbase run by humanoid robots If Japan goes ahead with the plan in a draft paper published last week. Equipped with special treads, the 660 pound robots will explore an area 120 miles in diameter and set up a moonbase powered by solar cells.

(Japan's humanoid robots for the moon)

According to the paper's panel, chaired by Waseda University President Katsuhiko Shirai, the moonbase would have seismographs to explore the inner structure of the moon, and have high-definition cameras to beam HDTV signals back to Earth.

It sounds like the next visitors to the moon will have ready-made neighbors. Philip K. Dick described this scenario in his 1966 novel The Simulacra; settlers on sparsely-populated alien world would want a family next door - a famnexdo:

A man, when he emigrated, could buy neighbors, buy the simulated presence of life, the sound and motion of human activity - or at least its mechanical near-substitute - to bolster his morale in the new environment of unfamiliar stimuli and perhaps, god forbid, no stimuli at all..

Communication with them was in essence a circular dialogue with oneself; the famdexdo, if they were functioning properly, picked up the covert hopes and dreams of the settler and detailed them back in an articulated fashion.

More moonbase stories:

From Moriama via cnet.

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