Mar 182006
 

Pirkus-R Type-01 robotPinkTentacle.com reports today that the Pirkus-R Type-01 robot has recently had its facial recognition software updated. The upgrade addresses limitations that had often hindered recognition attempts by earlier models, including variations in lighting and positioning of the target subjects. Now Pirkus-R can track the location and orientation of its target and move itself into position in order to capture an optimal facial image with its built-in camera.

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Feb 102006
 

Robotis RX

The Korea Times is reporting that on Thursday South Korean robot manufacturer Robotis unveiled the RX, a robot capable of running at almost 0.5 mph. Developed in conjunction with Samsung Electronics and Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication, the RX stands 2 feet tall. Like the Robotis’s Bioloid kit, the RX is made up of modular components that can be rearranged easily into other forms according to Kim Byoung-soo, Robotis chief executive.

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Feb 082006
 

WR-07 Robo-One Transformer

As if it it weren’t difficult enough to build and program a regular biped robot for Robo-One events, Nakamura-san at Himeji Soft Works in Japan has raised the bar with the WR-07, a car that transforms smoothly on the fly into a battle-ready humanoid and back again. It’s no surprise that Robots-Dreams.com has the scoop on the WR-07 including pictures and links to videos of it in action. If that’s not enough, they taunt us with the fact that they’ll get to see it live at the Robo-One competition in Tokyo next month.

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Jan 302006
 

HRP-2 Promet humanoid robot

Thankfully it seems that when one Japanese humanoid robot meets an untimely end it isn’t too long until another appears on the scene to take its place. Qrio may be headed towards an early grave, but Gizmodo caught an AP article from last Friday describing the HRP-2 Promet, a new humanoid robot being developed by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Envisioned as a domestic helper, Promet is already able to control your TV with a remote control built into its chest and is able to fetch your beverage of choice from the fridge.

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Dec 042005
 
Fujitsu HOAP-3 robot

Fujitsu HOAP-3
Akihabaranews.com

I must admit that I am having a hard time keeping up with all of the reports coming out of IREX. Even though I am falling behind, there are still a handful of robots in my backlog that I feel are worthy of mention, the first being the HOAP-3. Fujitsu has been developing the HOAP (Humanoid for Open Architecture Platform) series of robots for several years. The latest incarnation, the HOAP-3, was first announced in July of 2005. It stands 60 cm tall, weighs almost 9 kg, and is powered by a Pentium-M 1.1 GHz processor running Linux. It can respond to voice commands and process sounds and images. Remote computer control is possible via USB or built-in 802.11g WiFi.

At IREX, the HOAP-3 interacted with its human handlers, and then spent some time playing alone with a plastic bat and pink ball.

Dec 032005
 
ZMP nuvo

ZMP nuvo
source: Akihabaranews.com

Another familiar face on display at IREX this week was the nuvo. Manufactured by ZMP, Inc. and billed as “the first-home-use-type humanoid robot in the world,” the nuvo stands 39 cm tall and weights 2.5 kg. Looking more like a work of modern art than a fully functional robot, the nuvo has its designer Ken Okuyama, father of the Ferrari Enzo and Ferrari Rosa, to thank for its appearance. Make no mistake though, this is a serious robot.

With four sensors and 15 joints, the nuvo can walk, stand up on its own, and even roll over. ZMP has a lengthy video demonstrating it in action. It has integrated wireless-LAN and can be controlled via web browser, or it recognizes several verbal commands. The built-in speaker can play MP3s, and the camera in its head can capture images of its surroundings.

Dec 022005
 
Kondo KHR-1

Kondo KHR-1
source: Akihabaranews.com

Although it’s been around for more than a year and a half, the Kondo KHR-1 robot made an appearance at IREX this week showing off its moves. Sozbots, Kondo’s manufacturer, bills it as a “fighting” robot, which makes sense since it was initially designed for participation in the Robo-One Robot Fighting Tournaments. Weighing 1.2 kg and standing 34 cm tall, the KHR-1 is available for purchase in the US for $1445 at Robo-One-USA.com. The robot comes as a kit and must be assembled from its raw parts. RoboSavvy.com has a very thorough guide detailing the assembly process from start to finish. It is definitely a project for serious amateur roboticists.