HERE’S THE SCOOP
Meet Yaskawa-kun — Japan’s newest robot. He has two special
skills: He looks cute, and he can make and sell ice cream. Recently,
he worked at Tokyo Summerland, a big theme park, peddling cones.
The way you order is pretty simple: Step up to the ice cream stand
and select what you want via a touch screen (it’s possible to choose the
size, sauce, topping, and other things). Confirm with another push of a
button, pay, and watch Yaskawa-kun make the ice cream and hand it over
Yaskawa-kun is the brain child of Japanese robot maker Yaskawa —
a major Japanese bank and a leading advertising agency. The three
companies want to continue conducting experiments with the robot and hope to lease or sell future versions.
HERE’S THE SCOOPER
Wow Wee is continuing to release inexpensive robot
toys, however, the new Roboscooper actually might have
a practical application. If you want things that weigh
about an ounce lifted up and carted around. Here’s what
Roboscooper can do:
Scoops objects up automatically when in
autonomous mode, or when controlled by the
Nimble. Has six wheels allowing it easy traversal
over most terrain.
Funny phrases and sound effects.
Sensors in his hands allow it to detect objects in
front of it on the floor and pick them up, or knock
This is the robot that picks up objects at your command and loads them onto its
cargo bed, emptying contents at your preferred location. The remote drives the robot
left, right, forward, and backward — with skidding sounds for stops and beeps when in
reverse, allowing you to nudge it into place for picking up small items such as balls,
toys, or socks with its two articulated arms and hands. It can also operate
autonomously using its four infrared “eyes” that seek and detect objects within its 8”- 12” sight range while it announces
“Let’s get to work!”
Once an object is secured, the robot’s torso pivots to deposit an object into its cargo bay; it dumps contents by
vibrating to dislodge objects from the bay, adding “one step closer to a cleaner world.” Completely aware of its
environment, it informs you when an object is either too large or fixed with “too heavy for me” and “uh … a little help,
please” if it gets stuck. It can also issue beefy, two-handed slaps to objects when set into “whack” mode, urging you to
“let ‘er rip!” when ready.
Roboscooper will run you about $70.
22 SERVO 10.2010