It’s sad truth time! Todays sad truth is that, by the time I am elderly and infirm, America’s social safety net will almost certainly be a fond, foggy memory, much like Pirates of Dark Water or a meaningful labor movement. I’ll occasionally glimpse a Social Security check in my mind’s eye while fighting off the bands of scavengers and land pirates that roam the bleak wasteland of my golden years, but dismiss it as a dream, an lovely notion never made reality.

On the other hand, instead of a monthly pittance from the government, I will be waited on hand and foot by a Japanese robot who will bring me breakfast in bed, pick up my straws and, after a few modifcations, smite my enemies with artillery fire. Okay, the artillery fire is still in the pipe, but yesterday was a promising coming out party for Twendy One, a humanoid robot developed at Tokyo’s Waseda University. Designed to provide care for the elderly and disabled, Twendy One showed off some neat tricks, not the least of which was manipulating an everyday drinking straw with astonishing dexterity and care. There are still a fair number of bugs to work out, but developers are hoping to have Twendy One on the market and in service by 2015. Check out the video below to be amazed, even if you don’t speak Japanese.

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