Sunday, December 12, 2004

We could also see old robots at RoboPlaza. This is an old Tmusk model 01. Robots have come a long way since it first appeared.

Paro was at RoboPlaza, proving as popular as ever!

Roboplaza has demonstrations throughout the day. Here a child is handing some flowers to a robot built by the Japanese firm "Tmusk" whcih is also responsible for the "Banryu" home security robot which I hope to cover at some point. Note that this robot is being controlled by the woman in the background. As she moves the mechanical arms, her movements are reproduced by the robot. I was able to try out these manipulators myself, it was pretty fun.

While the robot's AI is still not good enough to keep an adult engaged for very long, children seemed to like it. When asked the date, for example, the robot replied correctly. This boy told the robot "You're cute." and the robot responded with words to the effect of "You think I'm cute? Thank you!"

Hello Kitty Robot

I recently paid a visit ot the city of Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu. Here there is an interesting sctivity centre called "RboPlaza". It contains a number of the latest Japanese robots with which visitors can interact. Above is a new "Hello Kitty" from the Business Design Laboratory. This robot is already in production and costs around 500,000 Yen. The company building is responsible for ifBot which I have discussed previously. The Kitty robot is based on the same technology. Its movements are limited but it has a fairly impressive AI, allowing it to understand simple speech and formulate correct replies.