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Using the Telenoid 1 robot shape as a basis, Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro has created Hugvie.
Basically the user inserts their cell phone and communicates with another person while hugging them, having a much richer experience.
The Hugvie can also vibrate at a frequency that simulates a heartbeat.
Hiroshi Ishiguro hopes to add more sensors and have two Hugvies on either end of a conversation interact more with each other.
We’d like to develop this into a robot with an internal frame. We could build in lots of vibrators and special sensors, so that when you hug it, the other person’s robot moves as well. So far, I don’t think there has been a really soft robot. If we make this one a bit more complex, we could create something that really feels like a person while you’re hugging it.
The robot is currently available from Vstone for 3,990 yen or about $50 US.
After several delays since last November, Robonaut 2 is about to go into space. If all goes well, the Space Shuttle Discovery will launch today at 4:50 pm. Once launched, it will travel to the International Space Station.
Robonaut 2 will do the following while on board the International Space Station:
Robonaut 2 (R2), will be installed in the U.S. Destiny laboratory, providing scientists and engineers on the ground and crews on the station an opportunity to test how humans and human-like robots can work shoulder-to- shoulder in microgravity. Once this has been demonstrated inside the station, software upgrades and lower bodies can be added, potentially allowing R2 to move around inside the station and eventually work outside in the vacuum of space. This will help NASA understand robotic capabilities for future deep space missions.
Click through for a video of Robonaut 2. Good luck Robonaut 2!
Update 2/25 – the shuttle launch was a success! We can’t wait to see what Robonaut does at the Space Station.
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA, announced this week it is considering sending a humanoid robot to the International Space Station in 2013. Inspired by Robonaut, the tweeting robot from NASA, JAXA stated they wanted the robot to have facial expressions to better communicate with the astronauts.
Japan has a lab on the International Space Station called Hope.
JAXA hopes to keep public interest high by allowing the robot to send messages and photographs through the service Twitter from space.
This is the new robot from Anybots called QA. Using this telepresence robot, you can log on to attend meetings or other duties at work.
QA rides on a Segway like base and does not fall over even when pushed. QA also has a green laser that can be used for pointing at charts or stuff in meetings.
- Batteries: rechargeable Li ion, 4-6 hours of operation
- Connectivity: 802.11g wireless (optional 3G cellular)
- Cameras: two 5 MP color, with ir illuminator
- Video: 20 FPS @ 640×480 (depending on network)
- Display: 7 inch (18 cm) color LCD in chest
- Laser pointer: green 10 mW, points and draws shapes
- Speed: up to 6 MPH (10 km/h)
- Height: 5 foot (152 cm) standing, 2 foot (61 cm) bending
- Weight: 30 pounds (14 kg)
- Client software: PC and Mac compatible
Check out a video from Popular Mechanics.
The robot will eventually retail for a wopping $30,000.