Kia ora all!

So, I have a lil time on my hands (my latest object training process takes about 2-4hours to complete. Tell ya later..) so I thought I could actually give you guys a bit more information about what’s been done in robotics in general, and what I am planning to do. There will be looks of links and pretty pictures, don’t worry.

So, what’s been done. In terms of mobile robots – heaps. I just found this link today of a very advanced quadruped robot called BigDog. They’re calling it the most advanced in the world, which I would believe. In terms of legs, this robot is totally state-of-the-art. Very kool.

My robot, on the other hand, is on wheels, but also humanoid. For a reminder, this is Wakamaru. He’s about 3 foot tall, and can recognise up to 10,000 japanese words, and can speak things back (in japanese). It can track faces and movement (though kind of delayed) and is meant to have built in localisation (knowing where it is in a room) by referencing its sensors stuck to the ceiling. It can also be used as a scheduler aka alarm clock and ‘time to take your medicine’ thing.

Wakamaru was designed to be a home companion for the elderly or disabled, so then they can live more independently. It can also be a house sitter, as its video feed can be viewed through the internet. (My ones not setup for that, unfortunately..)

There are other robots that can also be home companions.

Honda’s Asimo is one of the most publicised robots, and because of that many of you may know what it can do. It has face and voice recognition (in english too), as well as good speed motion tracking. It can recognise simple gestures (like a wave or a hand shake) and can follow gesture directions.

Here’s a video on YouTube which outlines its basic functions as of 2 years ago. Now, I think it can also run, and can respond faster than demonstrated. Definately a kool toy. They don’t demonstrate it picking anything up or manipulating anything with its hands, but they be done later. Otherwise, how can it open the front door or answer the phone?

Another lil robot that can be a home companion is Sony’s Qrio. Now, it doesn’t actually do a lot at all.

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