BANDIT SAYS “STICK ‘EM UP”
The USC Robotics Research Lab recently posted a journal paper
online, titled Using Socially Assistive Human-Robot Interaction to Motivate
Physical Exercise for Older Adults. Were not sure what visions that title
may conjure up, but here’s what authors Juan Fasola and Maja j. Mataric'
are talking about:
"This paper focuses on the design methodology, implementation
details, and user study evaluations of an SAR system that aims to
motivate and engage elderly users in physical exercise, as well as social
interaction to help address the physical and cognitive healthcare needs
of the growing elderly population. SAR systems equipped with such
motivational, social, and therapeutic capabilities have the potential to
facilitate elderly individuals to live independently in their own homes, to
enhance their quality of life, and to improve their overall health."
The robot — named Bandit — is a biomimetic anthropomorphic
robot which (in this case) means a vaguely humanoid torso mounted on
a wheeled platform. The robot attempts to engage the elderly person in
a variety of games — some of which involve making arm gestures and
asking the human to imitate them. The robot observes and offers advice
as they attempt to repeat the exercise.
Studies of interactions with elderly volunteers seem to support the
idea that the robot can succeed at motivating exercise in a way humans
find enjoyable. You can learn more about the project on the UCS
Interaction Lab Robot Exercise System webpage.
ON YOUR MARK II, GET SET...
Robotma.com — an online store dedicated to hobby
robot kits — is now offering a new entry-level bipedal robot called ISAMARO Mark
II. The first version of the robot cost a
hefty 340,000 JPY (approximately $4,200
USD), but they’ve managed to cut the cost
in half (to 168,000 JPY / $2,070 USD) by
swapping the Kondo-brand servos used in
its 19 joints.
They originally went with more
powerful servos ( 19 kg/cm torque), which
were replaced by those with a maximum
torque of 13 kg/cm. The kit is designed for
use in competitions.
ISAMARO specs include:
Height: approx. 350 mm
Weight: approx. 1.9 kg
Degrees of freedom: 19
Actuator: KRS-4031HV ( 19 total)
Optional: Wireless device
Control board: RCB-4HV
Cool tidbits herein provided by www.botjunkie.com, www.robotsnob.com, www.plasticpals.com, http://www.robots-dreams.com, and other places.
28 SERVO 01.2013