Do you want to build a robot?

He has been programmed to dance, talk, exercise and even to speak Singlish.

But for him to do that for you involves patience.

Robi was created exclusively for the Japanese division of Italian publishing house DeAgostini by Japanese professor Tomotaka Takahashi.

What does a robot have to do with publishing?

The parts of Robi the Robot have to be collected in 70 weekly magazine installments.

 

 

Each magazine contains educational information that telling the buyer understand how Robi works.

The first issue (out now) costs $9.90, with subsequent issues priced at $28.90 each. Four issues containing key technology cost more at $55 and $42.

In total, that is a wait of one-and-a-half-years and a cost of $2,082.

So what do you get?

Robi is 34cm tall and 1kg and can act as a companion of sorts - he can introduce himself and can even control some household equipment, including turning on your TV.

But while it can do some push-ups, Robi will exclaim that he's tired after a surprisingly short time (for a robot).

Professor Takahashi has designed a Singapore edition of the robot that can speak English, Mandarin and Singlish.

Robi has been programmed to understand over 250 commands in those languages.

It will not be officially sold as a complete unit, but for those interested in collecting and building, the magazine can be subscribed to online or purchased at convenience stores, some supermarkets and major booksellers here.

Baby dies while being bottle fed by father playing with handphone

A coroner's inquiry heard on Tuesday a three-month-old baby might have choked to death while being bottle-fed by her father who was distracted playing a football game on his handphone.

At about 10.20am on Oct 12 last year, Reyhana Qailah Mohamad Shiddiq was being fed by her father, Mr Mohamed Shiddiq Sazali, now 27.

The baby's mother, Madam Nurraishah Mahzan, now 31, had just left her Telok Blangah Crescent flat to report for a urine test at Clementi Police Division.

Alone with the baby, Mr Shiddiq was playing a football game on his mobile phone while feeding Reyhana with his left hand when she began struggling.

He was then seated on a bed and Reyhana was resting on his lap.

Investigation officer Tony Won testified Reyhana had started pushing the milk bottle away using her tongue.

Yet, her father continued to play the game and placed the milk bottle inside her mouth.

Reyhana cried and started kicking.

Mr Shiddiq continued playing without looking at his daughter.

Two minutes later, Reyhana went silent.

At about the same time, the baby's maternal grandfather returned from the market to find the baby pale and motionless.

Reyhana, who initially had a pulse, vomited milk when the older man performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on her.

CPR was subsequently performed on the unresponsive baby by her mother, a police officer and then a paramedic.

Reyhana died about an hour later in hospital.

Police do not suspect any foul play.

An autopsy found old injuries on her including fractures on her right ribs and skull.

A pathologist said the injuries would not have caused or contributed to her death.

While Reyhana's cause of death cannot be ascertained, the final cause of death report mentioned smothering or suffocation, and choking on milk may also be possible causes of death.


GET THE FULL STORY IN THE NEW PAPER, WEDNESDAY JULY 13

Win a pair of tickets to this Saturday's NE show!

Do you want to get a sneak preview of the National Day Parade before the big day itself?

The second National Education Show is happening this Saturday (July 16) at the National Stadium.

Of course, this year's festivities mark the NDP's return to the National Stadium after 10 years of being held at either Marina Bay's Floating Platform or at the Padang.

In the spirit of 2016, The New Paper has 16 pairs of tickets to give away.

Simply answer the question below for a chance to win.

This contest is now closed. Winners will be notified via SMS. 

Standard Chartered robber fled to Bangkok, stayed in budget hostel

The suspect was identified by Major General Apichart Suriboonya, who heads Thailand's Interpol unit, as Canadian national David James Roach, 26.

The man who robbed a Standard Chartered Bank branch in Holland Village of $30,000 has been caught.

He had stayed three nights in a backpacker hostel in Bangkok before he was arrested by Royal Thai Police.

Canadian national David James Roach, 26, is believed to have taken a cab to Changi Airport and fled to Thailand after committing the crime at 11.30am on July 7, reported Shin Min Daily News.

Roach is believed to have purchased the airplane ticket prior to committing the crime.

He arrived at a budget hostel in Bangkok before 10pm that same day.

One day after the robbery, Singapore Police requested to extradite the suspect.

On July 9, Thai police managed to locate his whereabouts and arrested him the next day, the Chinese daily reported. 

During his stay, Roach opted to share a room with other backpackers, paying between $16 and $20 each day, Shin Min Daily News quoted a source as saying.

He had to switch rooms daily as he did not have a reservation and rooms were limited.

When Thai police questioned him, he did not say anything beyond demanding to meet an officer from the Canadian embassy, said Major General Apichart Suriboonya, who heads Thailand's Interpol unit.

As his arrest took place on Sunday, the embassy was closed.

Maj-Gen Apichart told The Straits Times he was not sure whether an embassy representative had since got in touch with police.

Roach, who was born in Australia, is currently being detained at the Immigration Detention Centre. His tourist visa has been cancelled by Thai authorities.

Singapore has requested to extradite the suspect to Singapore and is waiting for approval from Thai authorities.

While Roach has spent some of the money, the bulk of it was recovered.

Source: Shin Min Daily News

Boss and Rueven cop suspensions

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Move over Dory, these new pets are in town

The Secret Life Of Pets.
"I didn’t say ‘Who is that?’ I went, ‘What is that?’" — US actor Matthew McConaughey (above) on being instantly smitten with his wife Camila Alves when he first laid eyes on her at a Los Angeles club in 2006
"I didn’t say ‘Who is that?’ I went, ‘What is that?’" — US actor Matthew McConaughey on being instantly smitten with his wife Camila Alves (above) when he first laid eyes on her at a Los Angeles club in 2006

Finding Dory has finally been dethroned at the US box office by another animated film. The Secret Life Of Pets earned US$103 million (S$140 million) in its opening weekend, surpassing Finding Dory's haul of US$20 million.

Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, the family flick, which opens here on Sept 1, explores what pets do while their owners are away.

It features the voices of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart and Eric Stonestreet.

It was made by production company Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures for US$75 million, which also made the Despicable Me film series.


PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL

Chaka Khan enters rehab

US singer Chaka Khan has entered rehab to battle her prescription pain medication addiction.

According to E! News, the 63-year-old Grammy winner reportedly said she has been battling an addiction to the same medication that led to US singer Prince's death and that his death had spurred her decision to seek treatment.

Prince died from an overdose of fentanyl, an opioid painkiller, in April at 57.

The singer's representatives told People magazine in a statement: "Chaka has struggled with a dependence on prescription pain medications and has voluntarily entered the programme to get healthy and stay that way.

"As part of the ongoing outpatient treatment, the doctors have urged her to resume recording mid-July and commence all performances beginning Aug 1 and onward."


 

PHOTO: AFP

Madonna visits, supports Malawi hospital

US pop singer Madonna visited the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Malawi during her charity trip.

The 57-year-old is funding their paediatric unit and the hospital is expected to open next year.

Madonna travelled with her two children adopted from Malawi, 10-year-olds David and Mercy, and her biological son Rocco, 15.

Madonna told reporters: "This new facility is the first paediatric surgery and intensive care unit in any Malawi hospital. It will have an enormous impact on saving the lives of children."

Pokemon GO 'catches' dead body and robbers

POPULAR: New smartphone game Pokemon GO is a hit with players.
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Lead stars are from Beijing and Hong Kong

Casting non-Taiwanese actors as Taiwanese students in a Taiwanese high school romantic comedy was not first-time film-maker Neal Wu's initial intention.

The 39-year-old Taiwanese adapted At Cafe 6's screenplay from his own 2007 novel of the same name.

He told reporters during an interview yesterday: "At Cafe 6 started out as a 'pure' Taiwanese movie in our planning stage. My co-investor and I are both Taiwanese, but unfortunately, we did not have enough money to do the film."

At Cafe 6 reportedly cost TW$100 million (S$4 million) to make.

"Eventually, we found a Chinese investor to come on board. That meant casting-wise, we had to (cast our net wider). It wasn't a deliberate move to pander to the Chinese market."

PRACTICAL

He added: "I'm actually very thankful for these practical decisions. If not, I would never have discovered good actors such as Dong Zijian and Cherry Ngan. They carried their roles extremely well."

Ngan is a native Hong Konger while lead actor Dong is from Beijing. They were instructed to speak with their original accents during filming.

"It was only during post-production that we got Zijian and Cherry into the studio to dub over their dialogue," he said.

"During the dubbing, I had them tweak their accents to sound more Taiwanese."

Cherry Ngan: 'I've never liked handsome guys'

Hong Kong actress says she is attracted to actor boyfriend's unpretentiousness

HAPPY: The starlet was in town yesterday to promote the new movie.

Go ahead and tell it to Cherry Ngan's face that her boyfriend is "ugly".

The 22-year-old Hong Kong actress is aware that her beau, portly Hong Kong actor Michael Ning, 36, ranks low in the looks department.

But the sweetie pie starlet does not mind it one bit.

When asked if she gets upset by criticism over Ning's physical appearance, Ngan - who was in town yesterday to promote her new coming-of-age romantic comedy At Cafe 6 - replied nonchalantly in Mandarin: "No, it's okay, I've never liked handsome guys anyway."

Last month, Hong Kong paparazzi spotted the couple on a date in Kowloon City.

HAPPY: She went public with her relationship with Hong Kong actor Michael Ning by sharing on Instagram a photo of them eating squid ink pasta. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/CHERRYSAVOR

Ngan, whose breakout role was in street dancing drama The Way We Dance (2013), confirmed the rumours soon after by sharing a photo of them on Instagram.

Local audiences might recognise Ning from crime thriller Port Of Call, which opened in cinemas here in January.

The theatre veteran won critical acclaim for his role as a murderer and even won Best Supporting Actor awards at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards and the Hong Kong Film Awards.

In a group interview with local media, Ngan said that although she was drawn to Ning's talent, it was not his biggest appeal.

"Of course I admire his acting, but we wouldn't be together just because of that. We'd just be actors who respect each other," she said.

"I like him because he's very 'organic'. You can tell it by simple gestures... There is nothing artificial about him."

Their 14-year age gap also poses no problem to Ngan.

"It's very natural between us... I think there is a little boy in every man's heart," she said with a grin.

At Cafe 6, which is directed by Taiwanese novelist-turned-director Neal Wu, is about playful high school boys Minlu (Dong Zijian) and Bozhi (Austin Lin), who fall in love with their classmates Xinrui (Ngan) and Xinyi (Ouyang Nini).

IN SCHOOL: Hong Kong actress Cherry Ngan and Chinese actor Dong Zijian are the stars of Taiwanese teenage flick At Cafe 6. PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE

The movie opens here on Thursday.

TEEN FLICK

At Cafe 6 is the latest Taiwanese teen flick in the vein of box-office hits You Are The Apple Of My Eye (2011) and Our Times (2015).

FIRST-TIMER: Taiwanese novelist-turned-director Neal Wu did not initially intend for the leads of At Cafe 6 to be non-Taiwanese. TNP PHOTO: CHOO CHWEE HUA

It has a kissing scene between Chinese actor Dong and Ngan, which Ngan said she has "already informed" Ning of.

"If I'm doing any intimate scenes in my movies, I will let him know beforehand," said Ngan.

"Likewise, if he's doing such scenes, he'll inform me too. It's not a must, but I know he will."

When asked if she felt weird playing a schoolgirl in the throes of puppy love - since her real-life romance is of a more mature nature - Ngan laughed.

"Of course not. After all, I was once a teenager. And, hey, I'm still young now," she said.

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