bots IN BRIEF
It’s definitely true that human facial features are great at
communicating emotional information, so there’s certainly something to be
said for incorporating things like eyes and eyebrows into a robot. Flobi —
a robot from Bielefeld University — is a good example of a conscious
decision to make a humanoid robot head that is capable of recognizable
human expressions while not being totally creepy.
Flobi relies on expressive elements that are almost cartoonish in their
simplicity; 18 actuators move the eyes, eyelids, eyebrows, and mouth, and
there are LEDs in Flobi’s cheeks so it blushes … ‘it’ because Flobi’s hair
(all of the facial elements, in fact) can be easily changed to look male
This robot cookie jar was made by Vandor and is based on some of
Japan's ‘50s and ‘60s designs. The ceramic collectible stands about 8" tall and
is supposedly no longer being made. What’s left is available at Amazon.
FOR THE BIRDS
More and more, people are starting to
specifically request robot-assisted surgeries as
opposed to having just a human operate on
them. Now, researchers at Duke are working
on an entirely autonomous robot arm that can take biopsies on humans based on
ultrasound data. It works pretty well, at least so far on the dead turkeys that they’ve
been practicing on.
“In the latest series of experiments, the robot guided the plunger to eight different
locations on the simulated prostate tissue in 93 percent of its attempts.”
Hmmm ... wonder about that other 7 percent … At least the robot didn’t go berserk and wildly stab everything
In any case, the idea is that eventually (soon, perhaps?) robots will be able to (at the very least) take care of simple, routine
medical procedures which will save patients both time and money.
Turkeys are used because they have similar flesh to humans, and they show up about the same on an ultrasound.
Neither this daVinci sytem nor turkey were actually used or harmed in this study.
26 SERVO 09.2010