Please accept it seriously, acknowledge mistakes and apologize to us.

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[What's New]
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21 July 2019 [NEW]
Introducing ATOM's failure video.
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Please read about ATOM robot owners' sorrows.

To learn more about the ATOM robot, see the official website(by Japanese).

On April 04, 2017, "Shukan Tetsuwan Atom wo Tsukuro!" started to be published weekly.
For about 18 months until the last issue on September 11, 2018, a total of 70 issues were published, costing us ¥184,474(non-including tax).
Little by little, we lovingly built the ATOM robot (known as "Astro Boy").
While building the robot, the ATOM BOY Robot owners dreamed of enjoying the completed ATOM.
However, the dreams we had after building the robot were quashed by the ATOM Project's participating and cooperating companies.
The reasons are outlined below.

A questionnaire was given to the 121 ATOM BOY Robot owners.

Q1:How were the ATOM robot and services overall?

  • Very dissatisfied. ---- 55.9%
  • A little dissatisfied. ----- 38.2%
  • Neutral. --- 2.9%
  • Very satisfied. ---- 2.9%

A total of about 94% answered "Dissatisfied," a very high figure.
Their reasons were given as follows.

  1. After building ATOM, there were many totally unexpected problems.
  2. When I contacted the support center, there was no sincere response. The response was one-sided instead.
  3. Complaints, criticisms, and warnings regarding the ATOM robot and support abounded on SNS. On one Facebook group, the admin deleted those many complaints en masse and expelled the posters from the group.

After finding out about this, another question was given.

Q2:After building ATOM, were there any problems?

  • Yes. ---- 77.3%
  • No. --- 22.7%

About 80% of respondents answered that they had some kind of problem.
When asked what kind of problem, here are what the ATOM BOY Robot owners said.

  • "A few days after building the robot, it often froze and could not shutdown."
  • "Could not update the system version."
  • "After operating for about 30 minutes, the robot always froze."
  • "When the timer is set, sometimes it cannot shutdown so I have to force quit it."
  • "The robot's conversing has not changed at all since the start. No improvement."
  • "Voice recognition is very poor." "Face recognition has the same face recognized as a different person."

Due to these problems, the ATOM BOY Robot owners contacted "Kodansha ATOM support center(TEL:+81-3-5395-5795) (here in after support center) to request support.
Here's the question regarding the support center's response.

Q3:What do you think of the support center's response?

  • Very dissatisfied. -- 62.5%
  • A little dissatisfied. --- 25.0%
  • Neutral. -- 6.25%
  • A little satisfied. ---- 6.25%

Here too, about 90% answered "Dissatisfied."
Regarding the response of the support, ATOM BOY Robot owners answered as follows.

  • "I explained the software problem in great detail, but all they said was, 'It wasn't built well' or 'Hardware problem.' It was useless."
  • "When I contacted support the first time, I told them about the problem. Two or three days later, they contacted me and politely said they would send a USB memory stick. And if there was any problem again, contact them. However, it didn't fix the problem so I contacted support again. It seems a supervisor came on and told me to initialize the system or wait for the next version update. It was a persistent and high-handed manner."
  • "The initial repair did not fix the robot freezing which was the main problem. The movement of the arms and legs got worse. When I requested servicing again, the Raspberry Pi was replaced and the freezing stopped. However, there was no explanation about why the Raspberry Pi was replaced."
  • "Since the robot froze often, I requested servicing. support center told me it would require payment. I paid for repairs and got back the robot. However, it wasn't repaired."
  • "I requested that they build the robot for me. When I started up the ATOM that they had built, it froze often. When I contacted the support center, they said, 'It wasn't built well.'"
  • "Since I thought that the support wouldn't be satisfactory, I didn't bother to contact them."
  • "When I sent in ATOM for repairs and got it back, it was quite dirty."

The questionnaire continued.

Q4:Did you post any comments on SNS, etc., about the performance or servicing about ATOM robot?

  • Yes. --- 66.67%
  • No. -- 33.33%

Those who answered "Yes" posted their complaints and criticisms mainly on ATOM-related groups on Twitter and Facebook.

  • "I posted on ATOM Owner's Club. I warned people about the support center's unsuitable response. The group's admin deleted my post and kicked me out of the group."
  • "I posted on ATOM Owner's Club. Without intending my post to violate the rules, I used polite language. But my post was deleted. I also defended the members who were kicked out. I wrote it without hurting anyone's feelings and without violating the rules. I think that deleting it was unjust."
  • "I posted on Atom fan club japan. I criticized the ATOM Owner's Club admin article and the unreasonable actions that were taken. But my post was deleted and I was kicked out. I was also kicked out of ATOM Owner's Club even though I had not posted anything."
  • "I posted on Atom fan club japan. I posted about ATOM's performance using some black humor. I got some humorous comments from others. My post was also deleted."
  • "On ATOM Owner's Club, I had been posting useful information. However, my posts complaining or criticizing the sales people or admin were deleted. Since I could not say anything anymore, I left the group."

ATOM Owner's Club is a Facebook group operated and managed by people from Kodansha co, ltd which is an unofficial participating company of the ATOM Project, and people from Robot Start Inc which is a cooperating company.
Atom fan club japan is a Facebook group operated and managed by people from robot start inc.
The admin deleting posts that complain or criticize and kicking out complaining members are representatives of TONOSAMA labs who think they are royalty.
He is robot evangelists from Robot start inc.
Besides ATOM Owner's Club and Atom fan club japan, these admins also manage multiple communication robot-related Facebook groups.
We thus cannot overlook such unreasonable actions as they continue to operate as if there were no problems.
Without thoroughly testing the proper operation of ATOM, they sold the product to ATOM BOY Robot owners, and they do not listen to the vexing problems voiced by ATOM BOY Robot owners.
They provide no support, and they delete complaints and criticisms by ATOM BOY Robot owners posted on SNS and kick out complaining members from Facebook group.

They act like nothing is wrong. In response, we have established the
"Group Demanding ATOM Project Reforms" to make our voices heard.
We demand the following:

  1. Kodansha co, ltd and cooperating companies(TONOSAMA labs, Robot Start Inc) shall acknowledge and apologize for their inappropriate and unreasonable acts against the ATOM BOY Robot owners.
  2. Kodansha co, ltd and cooperating companies(TONOSAMA labs, Robot Start Inc) shall investigate the cause of the following matters, and shall take appropriate measures to prevent recurrences.
    2-1.The repeated malfunctions of the ATOM BOY Robots.
    2-2.Kodansha Support Center's inappropriate actions against the ATOM BOY Robot owners.
    2-3.The deletion of the ATOM BOY Robot owners' complaints and criticisms, along with the expulsion of the said persons in the Facebook group managed by Kodansha co, ltd and cooperating companies(TONOSAMA labs, Robot Start Inc).
  3. Kodansha co, ltd and cooperating companies(TONOSAMA labs, Robot Start Inc) shall lend a sincere ear to the pressing voices of the ATOM BOY Robot owners, and shall move towards devising a solution.
  4. Kodansha co, ltd and cooperating companies(TONOSAMA labs, Robot Start Inc) shall cooperate with the ATOM BOY Robot owners as may be deemed necessary, and shall conduct activities aimed to further repair and improve the quality of the ATOM BOY Robot.

Until these demands are met, we shall continue this campaign. In the event that our demands are not met or are ignored, we shall take further action.

To realize a society where we can safely enjoy robots, we ask for your cooperation.

"Group Demanding ATOM Project Reforms"
[Leaders]
*Akinobu Yamamoto  *Shinichi Yada
[Members]
*Hideyuki Matsuda *Koji Yamauchi  *Iwao Hirata
*Kensuke Kawasaki  *Naoyuki Nimura