Mar 152006
 
RI-MAN Humanoid Robot

source: AFP/JIJI PRESS

OK, the truth is that right now the RI-MAN humanoid robot can only carry your grandma if she weighs less than 26 pounds, and if she does, she’s got bigger problems than not being able to walk. (That’s a doll in the pic.) But the goal of RI-MAN’s creators is for him to be able to bear loads of up to 155 pounds within the next 5 years, a weight that still seems borderline for American grandmas but probably a safe limit for grandma’s in RI-MAN’s home country, Japan.

Continue reading »

Jan 252006
 

Sony AIBO ERS-7M3

PC Magazine has an article today about a study by the Centre for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University’s veterinary school that has concluded that the benefits of having a robot pet are similar to those that come from real pets. It has long been known that human-pet interaction is good for maintaining physiological health and low stress levels. Children with pets usually have better social skills and are better learners than those without. Lead researcher Gail Melson has determined that a robot pet, in this case a Sony Aibo, makes an acceptable substitute for the real thing.

Continue reading »

Dec 032005
 
HAL-5 bionic exoskeleton

HAL-5 bionic exoskeleton
source: Engadget.com

Although the acronym IREX stands for International Robot Exhibition, not everything on display in Tokyo this week is a robot in the traditional sense. Take the HAL-5 bionic suit for example. Developed by Yoshiyuki Sankai of the University of Tsukuba in Japan over a period of more than ten years, the HAL-5, or hybrid assistive limb, was developed to help the elderly and people with physical disabilities walk and lift heavy objects. It was first unveiled at the World Expo in Aichi, Japan earlier this year and should be available for purchase before the end of the year at an estimated cost of $15,000 – $20,000.

Continue reading »