BEAR WITH US
Fujitsu’s new fluffy bear invention has a camera in its nose that can detect human faces
and actions (such as waving of hands) while sensors inside its head and limbs can detect
human touches and caresses.
The bear can respond with more than 300 actions of its own, from giggling and
laughing to waving its paws and taking a nap — even snoring.
"We want to offer an object that can become part of the family, nursing home, or
school, and that can benefit humans," a Fujitsu researcher explained."We really want
it to look natural."
The bear has 12 degrees of freedom, allowing it to move both arms and legs, as well as
tilt its head and move its eye brows and ears. A total of eight touch sensors are located
throughout its body allowing it to react to being petted, and two sensors in its arms detect
when someone is shaking its hands. Gyroscopes and accelerometers detect when the
bear is being moved around. Fujitsu has been
testing it at several medical institutions, but it seems commercialization
is going to be a little ways off as the face recognition isn’t working as
reliably as they want.
NEW FOOD POLICE
Meet Cory Kidd, CEO of Intuitive Automata, at his office in
Hong Kong next to a robot he designed as a dietary assistant.
Users can have daily conversations with the 38 centimeter tall ( 15 inch)
robot, which will crunch calories and provide feedback and
encouragement on their weight-loss progress.
Kikuchi Manufacturing is showing off their “Mini Robocue,” a smaller version of a similar human-scooping rescue robot
called “Robocue” that was first unveiled in 2009. This second generation is considered a “mini” because of an overall reduction
in size and weight compared to the first generation.
Mini Robocue: 2,310 mm x 810 mm x 1,450 mm (L,W, H); 350 kg
Robocue: 1,900 mm x 1200 mm x 1,600 mm (L,W, H); 1,500 kg
While a bit longer, it is significantly lighter and more compact in
three dimensions. The robot also has improved mobility thanks to its
independent front and back tank treads. This increases its turning circle,
allowing it to swivel in place. The idea was to allow the robot to climb
steps inside of a building and still be able to turn when it reaches a
landing. People in need of rescue are loaded onto the conveyor belt which
scoops them up into the robot’s body. (There is a size limit, however.)
The robot can be controlled remotely over a monitor via a 100 m
cable, or controlled from a 50 m via radio signal if the operator has a clear view. It can also be equipped with manipulators for
dealing with potentially hazardous materials. Kikuchi Manufacturing is hoping to sell at least one unit to each of the fire stations
across Japan, so they’re aiming at a price point of around $16,000 USD.
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