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Some other PaPeRo links...
An Older Robots.net article...
Looks like a cute little robot, and I'm sure if they can make it at an affordable price it will be a big hit in the shops. There are all sorts of commercial spinoffs you could add to a robot like that too - different voices for reading emails, downloadable "personalities" for different kinds of behavior and movement, maybe the ability to tell you the weather forecast or if your favourite programme is on telly, or perhaps give medical advice or remind you if you need to take some medication.
These are really the first wave of "home robots" and I'm sure they will inspire a new generation of kids, just as I was inspired by some of the first home computers when I was a boy.
Clicking away on the ol'tabulator here for tentative extimate prices, yields a wild estimate of around $2400.00 US dollars. Those yen just don't convert like they used to.
But since they've been messing with this thing for quite a few years now, it's doubtful it'll ever get out to the public.
So how much do you think it'll cost? Let's see who gets bragging rights on the closest estimate. :)
Unfortunately, I am not impressed, like usual it's another overpriced underpowered robot that can't get over a throw rug without getting stuck. Smooth kitchen floors only. Obviously all the people that come up with these things have never looked at real houses. Of course maybe I'm wrong, maybe real houses don't have carpeting or throw rugs in them.
Several years ago I corresponded with Joseph Engelberger for a while. He was the president of HelpMate Robotics at the time and was trying to obtain funding to manufacture robotic nurses to take care of invalids in their homes. His prototype weighed seven hundred pounds, had two drive wheels, two wheels that swiveled for steering, a telescoping torso that allowed two arms to reach stuff seven feet or so above floor level, four computers, two video cameras for vision, a lot of proximity detectors, software for speech recognition and generation and he thought he could manufacture these things for a mere seventy grand apiece.
Anybody that has used a handtruck indoors knows what a heavy load can do to a carpet, so I suggested that instead of a robot that looked like King Kong, he should consider a powered chair propelled by steerable balls instead of wheels. The chair would have at least one power-assisted arm similar to an industrial manipulator of the type used on assembly lines to lift and position engines, transmissions, etc. for automobiles. The result was a very short reply to that Engelberger wanted to keep "people out of the loop" and that our correspondence wasn't productive and should be terminated.
A few months later a west coast company bought the rights to a robotic courier that HelpMate manufactured and the HelpMate company went out of business.
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