The slow, awkward, clumsy and stairs-avoiding stumble forward that is robot development continues not to impress anyone, with Taizou - the latest robot designed to interact with and try not to break the limbs of Japan's ageing population.

Created by the country's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, the bizarrely happy monster is supposed to put elderly people at ease with its massive smiley face, soft, warm, welcoming fluffy skin and caressing albino lobster claws. But even the sort of powerful drugs old people get to take won't numb the fear and terror caused by seeing this clown-faced nightmare edging slowly towards them with a bed pan and worryingly thick piece of plastic tubing.

Terror robot

YOU WON'T FEEL A THING: "Quick and painless, Mr Jones?" [Image credit: Robot Watch]

It'll be pulled out of service within days, after triggering heart attacks en masse. On the plus side, Wes Craven might be interested in licensing its likeness for his next teen slasher film, so some development costs may be recouped medium-term.

Games spread plague

One of the worthiest and most popular video game events of recent years has been PAX - the underground-ish convention organised by Penny Arcade, the comic you either find hilarious (not me) or rubbish (me).

Pax event

PAX: Just like being at home, only in the same room [Image credit: Flickr]

Sadly for those attending last weekend's event, one of the attendees has since been diagnosed with swine flu. The organisers have issued a warning, along with a list of flights and trains visitors to the convention used - and also made a joke out of it. That "hilarious" strip will be coming down if someone dies, right?

Aliens!

Time for a fuzzy photograph of something that's definitely not an alien, only the photograph is so bad that nutcases on the internet can get away with saying it might be an alien.

The Telegraph yesterday at least hedged its bets over the authenticity of this photo, which it says could be a UFO. But if you don't believe in UFOs, perhaps you could swallow the paper's much more rational explanation - it's a pterodactyl.

A pterodactyl perhaps?

UFO OR DINOSAUR? They are your only options. You have to pick one.

The man who took the photo gives us the best clue - he says he goes to the lake where it was taken to watch the swans. So it's (c) a swan.

Sun in his hair

The best feel-good, happy-happy, smiling-faces, world-saved, enviro-news of the week was a report from online celebrity photo resource the Daily Mail.

The Mail stopped reporting on what shoes Jordan wore to the beach yesterday to cover the invention of 18-year-old Nepalese student Milan Karki, who has started using human hair in solar panels as a cheap (£23 in costs) alternative to traditional conductive materials.

At least, that was the excuse he used for being caught with a clump of woman's hair on the floor of his bedroom.

Hair-powered solar panels

ELECTRIC HAIR: He won't be smiling when Mr Big Business steals the idea [Image credit: Daily Mail]

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