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.

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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 132005
 

Asimo serves coffee

Honda Motor Co. introduced the second-generation Asimo today. While walking and obstacle avoidance were considered highlights of the previous model, the new Asimo includes many advancements that science fiction has groomed us to expect from humanoid robots. The five-year old Asimo can now handle simple office tasks like greeting visitors and showing them to meeting areas, walking with a tray of drinks, and pushing a 10 kg cart. The new model is even capable of running at speeds of up to 3.7 mph.

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Dec 012005
 
Bandai BN-17 robot

source: Akihabaranews.com

Akihabaranews.com continues their excellent coverage of IREX today with some great photos of the BN-17 Swiffer Robot by Bandai. Although it is pictured pushing a Swiffer, cleaning floors is only one of the capabilities of this robot. Its other functions include those common to other modern companion robots including home security, e-mail, and web access. There is no size, weight or price given, but by the looks of it, I think it’s safe to say that it falls right in between the $400 Roomba and the $85,000 RIDC-01 that was unveiled yesterday. Surprisingly a cursory Google search didn’t yield any additional information on the BN-17, but it has piqued my curiosity so I will remain on the lookout for more details.

Nov 302005
 

Sora the robot

The IREX International Robot Expo 2005 is in full swing in Tokyo, Japan right now. Hundreds of companies, organizations and researchers have their robots on display for the public to interact with. From entertainment robots to cleaning bots to robotic receptionists, there are many fresh faces and some familiar ones as well.

One of the most popular exhibits this year is a robotic version of Pac-Man. Players of the game, developed by Bandai and Namco, are able to navigate a robot Pac-Man via remote control through a three dimensional maze complete with robot ghosts.

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Oct 272005
 

Roboking, LG Electronics' cleaning robot

Gizmodo’s got a brief summary today of an article in the Korea Herald that outlines the government of South Korea’s desire to have commercially available intelligent robots by next year. The “intelligent service robot” project as it is being called by the Ministry of Information and Communication states that intelligent robots for entertainment, education, home security and household chores will be available in 2007 at a price of less than 1 million won (approx $950 USD).

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