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Now we don’t want anybody sniggering about the olfactory of the future here, or striking up with an off-key rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Robot, but Japan Inc claims to have moved beyond vision systems to come up with a robot with a sense of smell and a nose for a good malt: according to Reuter, the thing can distinguish between 11 brands of whisky and wine – but what’s the betting it’s only Suntory that gets its vote, and regards the real thing from Scotland as not to be sniffed at?

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