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Toyota’s Helpful Robot

Human Support RobotToyota has unveiled a new helper type robot called the Human Support Robot (HSR) to help with Japan’s aging population.

It is designed to help people around their home and improve their quality of life.

With a height of between 32 and 52 inches and a weight of about 70 lbs, HSR is not very big or heavy.  Due to a telescopic body , the robot can change its height, depending on the task at hand.

HSR also has an arm and a gripper hand for doing simple tasks, like picking items up off the floor or opening curtains.

HSR can be controlled by a tablet computer.

No word on price or availability yet.

Link via (Gizmag)


Hugvie, The Huggable Robot

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.


Link via (Phys.org)


Asterix, Omni Directional Hexapod

A hexapod robot from Osaka University named Asterix can do many things.  The six legged robot can climb over objects, squeeze under them and even cartwheel thanks to Professor Arai and his team at Osaka University.

Asterix has 6 legs, spaced 60 degrees apart.  The robot is the same on the top or the bottom, so that if it were to be flipped over, it could continue like nothing had happened.  The legs are also agile enough that they can pick be used to up objects or climb up a wall with a wire grid on it.

ASTERISK has the following 6 kinds of sensors.

  1. Pressure sensors on the tips of all of the limbs, which can detect whether they are being pushed or pulled.
  2. Infrared sensors on the tips of 3 of the limbs.
  3. A gyro sensor and an acceleration sensor on the body.
  4. Wireless cameras on the tips of 3 limbs and 3 CCD cameras on the body.

Click through for a video from DigInfo TV.

Link via (DigInfo TV)

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Avatar Robot

telesar vThe Telesar V robot avatar was developed by Keio University in Tokyo.  Similar to the telepresence robot  QB from Anybots, the Telesar V goes further by allowing users to actually feel objects thanks to sensor laden hands.

The amazing hands are touch sensitive as well as allowing the user to feel how hot or cold the object is.

The Telesar V is a telexistence robot where the user is required to wear a head mounted display that covers their vision.

I’m not sure how practical a Telesar V would be for a regular office setting, but it could be good for other environments like hospitals.  That is, if it doesn’t scare the patients.

Link via (Wired)

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Kawada Industries Hiro Thinks

hiroAn associate professor from the Tokyo Insitute of Technology named Osamu Hasegawa has created a thinking robot.  Osamu has made the robot think like a human by reacting to the environment and doing research on the internet.

Using the Hiro robot from Kawada Industries as a base and The Self-Organizing Incremental Neural Network or SOINN algorithm, Osamu has created a robot that is able to put together different tasks and even make assumptions on how to complete them.  Just like us humans, the robot is also connected to the internet to look up stuff it does not know.

In one example the robot was asked to pour a cup of water.  The robot takes these instructions apart into things it already knows, like holding a cup, and can then complete the task.  Check out the video of this below.

Link via (MySinchew.com)
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