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A.When Takanori Shibata began working on robots in the early 1990s, he had somethingpractical in mind, perhaps to help the elderly with their daily chores. But he soonrealized that robots were not really able to do anything useful, so he decided to makea robot that did not even try--but that could nevertheless deliver real benefits.
B. He created and developed his robot--Paro since 1998. It is 57cm long and looks like ababy harp seal. Thanks to an array of sub-skin sensors (传感器) , it responds kindlyto stroking. And though it cannot walk, it can turn its head at the sound of a humanvoice and tell one voice from another. It is a comforting and gentle presence besideyou. The best thing about it is that it seems to be helping in the care of people withdementia ( 痴呆症 ) and other health problems.
C.You could see Paro as a very well-designed $5,000 pet, but it is so sweet that it willnever offend you. It is as happy in one lap as the next, needs no house-training, canbe easily washed and will not die. This makes it a much more practical suggestion tohave in a nursing home or hospital than a live pet. It is used in such homes in Japan,in parts of Europe and in America. As well as simply making people happy--no meangoal--it can act as a source of reassurance and calm. People with Alzheimer's oftensuffer from "sundowning" ( 黄昏症 ) --a distressed urge to wander that comes ontowards the end of the afternoon. Mr. Shibata has found that a seal in the arms tendsto reduce such wandering, which means fewer falls. Experience in some westerncountries indicates that care homes equipped with Paro need less medication fortheir residents. Larger trials to test the medical benefits and other benefits that can bebrought by Paro are now under way in Australia.
D.If Paro proves to be more useful than a lovely animal, there will be a huge marketfor it. Akifumi Kitashima, who works on Japan's robotics strategy, points out that in2025 Japan will have 10.7m more elderly people than it did in 2005. Though Japan isageing particularly quickly, a lot of the rest of the world is on a similar course. Somewill long remain agile; most will eventually need care.
E.Looking after old people in homes might become easier with robots, be they moodenhancers like Paro or something more practical that can help care workers liftand reposition their charges (Mr. Kitashima says 70% of carers have bad backs).Yoshiyuki Sankai, perhaps Japan's best-known robotics entrepreneur, has set up acompany called Cyberdyne to make wearable systems that help people walk and liftthings by adding artificial strength to their limbs.
F. Robots may also make it possible for old people to stay independent in their homesfor longer. Mr. Angle says this is iRobot's "long-term guiding star", towards whichthe Roomba is a small step. In the view of Mr. Gupta, the general-purpose home-helprobots would be a big advance which, given a push, could be achieved in a couple ofdecades. Mr. Thrun reckons it could be done more quickly. Mr. Ng points out that ifyou get a graduate student to teleoperate ( 远程操作) a PR2 robot, it can alreadydo more or less everything a home-help robot might be required to do, so all that isneeded is better software and more processing power, both of which are becomingever more easily available.
G. Cloud robotics ( 云端机器人技术 ) can probably provide much of the requiredsoftware. Mr. Pratt says that if there were dramatic performance improvements in thefinals of the DRC, he would expect them to come from the cloud. But specific robothardware will need upgrading, too. No robot hand yet comes close to the utility of thehuman hand. Tasks that require feedback in terms of force and fit--like putting a pluginto a socket--remain particularly hard for robots. General technological progresswill not help; the only way to find a solution to this sort of problem is to workspecifically on it.
 Even more important will be interfaces ( 界面 ) to tell the robots what to do. Take-me-by-the-wrist Baxter, stroke-me Paro and the film-enabling industrial arms of Bot& Dolly, all very different from each other, show that interfaces can matter just asmuch as any other technological advance. Tobias Kirmebrew, of Bot & Dolly, thinksthat new interfaces could open up markets and applications of robotics in all sorts offields, and might do so surprisingly quickly.
I.Voice would be an obvious choice, but it has its drawbacks: give a robot a voice, saysMr. Hassan, and the user will think it is smart. An interface that allows the robot tobe dumb and the user not to care might be preferable. Indeed, small errors can beendearing, and needing help with something can produce affection. People do notresent Paro's need to be stroked; it is one of the things they like about it. CoBot'sneed for help with the lifts at Carnegie Mellon makes people warm to it, though beingtroubled for help by random robots in offices and shopping malls would probably notwork so well. But if the interface is properly designed, teaching a robot home help todo the job better might make it more welcome.
J.It may also be a good idea to let the robots turn for help to people other than thosethey are working for. As Mr. Goldberg points out, the cloud does not just containcomputers; it provides access to a lot of humans, too. One of the things that makeAethon's Tugs a success in hospitals is that the company's headquarters has a smallbut always staffed help desk which deals with questions from robots. If one gets stuckor lost, a remote operator can look through its eyes, check its logs and sort things outbefore the hospital concerned even becomes aware that anything is wrong.
K. If the robot can call on a help desk, it can communicate with other people too. Somehome-automation products already allow a degree of monitoring, notes on Chambersof Carnegie Mellon's Quality of Life Technology Centre, but what they offer leavesmuch to be desired. It makes the adult offspring feel greater responsibility--whichthey often cannot exercise--rather than giving them reassurance. The elderly, for theirpart, can feel snooped ( 窥听 ) upon. A robot with a defined presence in the housemight make a better intermediary.
L. What matters, as iRobot and other practically minded companies have learned, is notso much having robots but having a business model that does a job, be it washing thedishes, checking that medication is being taken or providing telepresence ( 远程监控). Producing something reliable and likeable that can be sold in large numbers anddoes not get its makers sued may prove a lot more difficult than simply developingthe required robotic skills, but not impossible. To be sure, robots will not spread asquickly as mobile phones have done. Over a decade they may not achieve much. Overa century, though, they could turn everyday life upside down.
1.[选词填空]Paro has a great goal of providing people with happiness, reassurance and calm.
    • 解题思路:题干意为,帕罗有一个了不起的目标:给人们带去快乐、安心和平静。根据题干中的关键词happiness,reassurance and calm可定位到c段。该段第五句提到,它的目标不仅是给人们带来快乐,还要使用人们感到安然和平静。由此可知,题干是对原文的同义转述,故选C。
    2.[选词填空]In fact, one of the reasons why people like Paro is that it needs to be touched.
      • 解题思路:题干意为,事实上,人们喜欢帕罗的一个原因就是它需要被抚摸。根据题干中的关键词people like Par0和touched可定位到I段。该段第四句提到,人们不会因为帕罗需要抚摸而厌恶它;而这正是人们喜欢它的原因之一。由此可知,题干是对原文的同义转述,故选I。
      3.[选词填空]The company Cyberdyne has been set up to make wearable systems that can addartificial strength to its users' limbs.
        • 解题思路:题干意为,“生化人”公司旨在开发可穿戴的系统,为其使用者的四肢增加人工力量。根据题干中的关键词Cyberdyne可定位到E段。该段第二句提到,三阶吉行先生创建了“生化人”公司,专门研究一些可穿戴的机器服产品,这些产品通过为四肢增加一些人工力量从而帮助人们走路和提举物品。由此可知,题干是对原文的同义转述,故选E。
        4.[选词填空]Takanori Shibata wanted to make practical robots when he first began working onrobots.
          • 解题思路:题干意为,柴田崇德在致力于研究机器人之初是想要研发出具有实际用途的机器人。根据题干中的关键词Takanori Shibata和began working on robots可定位到A段。该段首句提到,柴田崇德在20世纪90年代早期开始研发机器人,他曾设想研发出具有实用性的机器人,或许能够帮助老人们处理他们的日常琐事。由此可知,题干是对原文的同义转述,故选A。
          5.[选词填空]Robots can totally change our daily life in the long run though it will not becomewidespread quickly like mobile pho
            • 解题思路:题干意为,尽管机器人不会像手机那样快速得到普及,但是从长远来看,机器人能够彻底改变我们的日常生活。根据题干中的关键词daily life和mobile phones可定位到L段。该段最后三句提到。可以肯定的是,机器人不会像手机那样迅速地普及。也许它们在十年之内不会取得多少进展。但是在一个世纪的时间里,它们足以给我们的日常生活带来翻天覆地的变化。由此可知,题干是对原文的同义转述,故选L。
            6.[选词填空]There would be 10.7 million more elderly Janpanese people in 2025 than there was in 2005.
              • 解题思路:题干意为,到2025年,日本的老年人口将会比其在2005年多出1070万。根据题干中的关键词in 2025可定位到D段。该段第二句中指出,致力于研究机器人战略的明史北岛指出,到2025年,日本的老年人口将会比2005年多1070万。由此可知,题干是对原文的同义转述,故选D。
              7.[选词填空]Though it is pretty hard to produce reliable, likeable and profitable robots, it does notmean people can do nothing about it.
                • 解题思路:题干意为,虽然研发出可靠、可爱且有利可图的机器人很难,但并不意味着人们就对此无能为力。根据题干中的关键词hard to produce reliable,likeable and profitablerobots可定位到L段。该段第二句提到,比起简单地研发必备的机器人技术,要生产既可靠又可爱,能够大批量销售且不会使生产商卷入诉讼的产品的确困难很多,但绝不是不可能。由此可知,题干是对原文的同义转述,故选L。
                8.[选词填空]Tobias Kinnebrew holds that new interfaces can open up markets and applications ofrobots in various fields and this might come true shortly.
                  • 解题思路:题干意为,托比亚斯·肯尼布鲁认为,新的人机界面可以在多个领域为机器人开拓市场及应用:而且这有可能很快就能实现。题干中的关键词Tobias Kinnebrew和interfaces可定位到H段。该段末句提到,Bot&Dolly的研发者托比亚斯·肯尼布鲁认为,新的人机界面会以惊人的速度打开并拓宽市场,为机器人进军各行各业打下一片新天地。由此可知,题干是对原文的同义转述,故选H。
                  9.[选词填空]The greatest advantage of Paro is that it seems to be able to help take care of peoplewith dementia and other diseases.
                    • 解题思路:题干意为,帕罗最大的优点是它似乎可以帮助照料患有痴呆症及其他病症的人。根据抓住题干中的关键词thegreatest advantage ofPar0定位到B段。该段末句中提到,帕罗最大的优点就在于它似乎可以帮着照顾患有痴呆症和其他健康问题的病人。由此可知,题干是对原文的同义转述,故选B。
                    10.[选词填空]So far, there is not any robot hand can compete with human hand in terms of utility.
                      • 解题思路:题干意为,迄今为止,没有任何机器人的手可以在实用性能方面和人的手相提并论。根据题干中的关键词robot hand和human hand可定位到G段。该段第四句提到,目前为止,还没有机器人的手可以在实用性方面与人类的手相媲美。由此可知,题干是对原文的同义转述,故选G。
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