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Back in the days before the majestic and booming voice of God said, “Casey, go work for RocketNews24,” I used to handle payroll processing at my old job. I’d also occasionally answer the phones and take care of walk-in customers, and while it keeps things fresh and varied to wear many different hats at work, there are also some downsides, and I’m not talking about an increased chance of head lice.

I shared my PC with several coworkers, and often I’d step away from my desk for a moment, only to come back and find out that in the meantime someone had hopped onto the computer, finished what he was doing, and decided to shut down every window. When the prompt came up asking if the user wanted to save any unfinished work, for some reason he’d invariably select “no,” and I’d lose a chunk of work progress.

If only I’d had one of these cool Japanese robot assistants that automatically saves your files for you.

Last weekend was the 2015 iteration of Maker Faire Tokyo, an annual expo for inventors and engineering enthusiasts held at Tokyo’s Big Sight convention center. While fun and creativity are the driving forces behind the event, prizes are given out to the best items on display, and one of the awards went to a robot called Rombun Mamoru-kun.

“Kun” is a suffix put on the end of Japanese names, as a more casual version of the well-known “san.” Rombun is the Japanese word for “thesis” or “term paper,” and mamoru is the word for “protect,” so in essence, the robot’s name is Thesis Protector. What’s it do? Watch and see.

If that was too quick to catch, here’s a repeating version.

The external attachment on the upper left corner of the case, pointed at the keyboard, is a motion detector. Once it senses that you’ve taken your hands off the keyboard, Rombun Mamoru-kun’s door flips open, and out pops an arm.

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Two solenoids extend from the bottom. The first strikes and holds the control key, and the second taps S, engaging the shortcut to save files in most word processing or spreadsheet programs.

▼ There’s even a helpful placard with 保存中 (hozonchu/now saving) written on it, although if your coworkers can’t read Japanese, they might still come to the conclusion that the robot apocalypse has begun on the smallest possible scale.

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▼ Here’s the official video from developer Makers Hub

There’s a short grace period after you take your hands away from the keyboard, giving you a moment to scratch an itch, take a swig of cola, or massage your temples to stimulate your brain’s natural genius. After five seconds, though, Rombun Mamoru-kun deduces that you’ve got your hands full, so it should have your back and save your work for you.

Of course, some people may wonder what advantages this has over just using the auto-save function that comes with many programs these days. The developers’ answer?

“If we did this through software, there wouldn’t be anything fun about it.”

They’ve got a point. After all, aren’t all tasks more entertaining with motion-sensing robots?

Related: Makers Hub, Rombun Mamoru-kun official website
Source: Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/metto
Insert images: YouTube/metto (edited by RocketNews)