Hi there, and welcome to my weekly Robot Update. This is wear I do a round up of what is going on in the Robot news around the world, so stay tuned.
Hi Guys, I’m Philip English from robophil.com, and welcome to the Robot Weekly update number 15.
Robear: the bear-shaped nursing robot who’ll look after you when you get old
Japanese robot can lift patients from beds into wheelchairs or help them to stand up, promising ‘powerful yet gentle care for the elderly. A number of companies have explored the idea of humanoid robots as future home-helpers for elderly people. The latest experiment from Japan is distinctly more bear-shaped, though. Meet Robear, an experimental nursing-care robot developed by the RIKEN-SRK Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research and Sumitomo Riko Company. Unveiled this month, the robot is designed to lift patients out of beds and into wheelchairs, as well as helping those who need assistance to stand up. Robear weighs in at 140kg, and is the successor to heavier robots RIBA and RIBA-II. “We really hope that this robot will lead to advances in nursing care, relieving the burden on caregivers today,” said Toshiharu Mukai, leader of the project’s robot sensor systems research team. “We intend to continue with research toward more practical robots capable of providing powerful yet gentle care to elderly people.” That’s an increasingly urgent challenge in Japan, where the elderly population is growing fast. According to Riken, robots like Robear can play an important role in taking the strain off nurses and caregivers, who may be having to lift patients 40 or more times a day, risking lower-back pain in the process. Robear remains a research project for now, as Riken and its partners continue to improve the robot’s technology, reduce its weight, and ensure that it will be safe – in this case, through legs that extend while lifting a patient, to ensure Robear does not topple over. Japan remains the hub for research into humanoid (or, in the case of Robear, at least human-sized) robots, and not just for healthcare.
XLR-One: Meet the 3D-printed robot companion that talks, tutors your child and DJs parties
A graphic designer and florist has created a customised 3D-printed personal robot companion that has a huge range of abilities – from entertaining users by talking and dancing, to being a party DJ or a home security patrol guard – but without a hefty price tag. The XLR-One Personal Robot Companion is 30in tall and moves using a wheeled base. It has a Wi-Fi camera for an eye, and it looks and talks a lot like Short Circuit’s Johnny Five. Like Johnny, the robot has claws that open and close to grab and hold objects, and its head, wrists, elbows and shoulders all have 180 degrees of motion. But it can also do a lot of things that until now have only been possible in movies. “I can have the robot be a home security system, it can be a virtual presence. I use it to interact with my children and teach them math. It can DJ your party. It has a lot of potential to grow. Whatever comes into your mind is possible,” Ameralis, the CEO of XLRobots and the owner of Miami-based flower business Just My Florist tells IBTimes UK. Hobby-based robotics is a rising trend that has become more feasible in recent years with the advent of smaller, more powerful processors and tiny credit-card computers such as the Raspberry Pi. The robot’s brain is the ez-bv4 Wi-Fi controller, which contains ARM Cortex-M3 & Microchip PIC32 and offers 200MHz of processing power, and the robot omes equipped with EZ-Robot Revolution, an easy-to-use robotics platform. The platform allows users to use a simple custom control app on a tablet, where they can drag and drop what skills to teach the robot, such as vision tracking and learning, speech recognition and artificial intelligence. The XLR-One Personal Robot Companion Kickstarter campaign currently has 10 backers pledging $5,697 out of the $10,000 goal, and there are six days left to go. But Ameralis is not concerned even if the campaign is not successful, and has already set a commercial release date of 1 June.
This robot fakes ‘handwritten’ cards to loved ones – and even copies your own scrawl
For times when you are too lazy to write notes yourself, but want to give the personal touch. Card-sending services like Funky Pigeon and Moonpig eliminate the hassle going to the Post Office, but they lack the personal touch. There’s something about handwritten notes that shows you’ve made more of an effort, that you care about the person you’re writing to. That’s where Bond steps in. Submit a sample of your actual handwriting, along with a typed out message, and the robot will then use a real Montblanc pen of your choosing to compose your message in what looks like your own penmanship. It’s designed to “save the lost art of handwriting” by replacing actual handwriting with robot scribbles. It even ties into customer database software, meaning companies can send out spam mail in what looks like human handwriting. Given that we are generally much more likely to open up handwritten letters, this could be a genius strategy. Bond isn’t the only company to offer this service. Handwritten will write cards in a regular ballpoint pen. It’s pretty convincing.
That’s it guys, for a weekly world Robot News, I am your host Philip English.
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