Robots

NEC's PaPeRo 2003 Robot

Posted 17 Nov 2003 at 14:57 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

PaPeRo 2003 is what Geekzone brings to our attention. PaPeRo is a robot assistant who's name is a shortened form of Partner-type Personal Robot.. NEC has been revising this robot since 1997 and they think that now they have gotten it right. Personal Robot PaPeRo 2003 (and it's annoying marketing nonsense of upper and lower case letters) stands over a foot tall and can do some amazing things like recognize faces, listen for phrases and respond verbally, change the channel on the TV for you, check email for you, a lot of other stuff too numerous to mention. It has two cameras for eyes for face recognition so it can call you by name. It has four microphones for voice and command recognition. It has 5 ultrasonic sensors to help it navigate. TV output (we need your help obi-wan - this thing does sort of favor R2D2), a wireless internet connection, LEDs for facial expressions, it even has a stroking sensor so it can feel you stroking it's head like a Furby, etc., etc. I couldn't find a price for PaPeRo, but I'm guessing with a couple of cameras and the 5 ultrasonics and a wireless internet connection and all, It's probably not something cheap that you'd want to be every child's plaything, but from the child- friendly colors and look, you've got to wonder.

Home robots, posted 17 Nov 2003 at 18:44 UTC by motters » (Master)

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.

Well, running the ol'tabulator here....., posted 18 Nov 2003 at 03:41 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

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.

That sounds sort of familiar - -, posted 24 Nov 2003 at 22:51 UTC by Frank McNeill » (Apprentice)

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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