Another Humanoid Robot Product

Posted 7 Nov 2002 at 21:52 UTC by steve Share This

According to a story on, a company called Dr. Robot has announced plans to release a new humanoid robot for consumers that is less expensive than the Sony SDR-4X with a projected price of between $1,500 - $3,000. The company expects the robots to be available by May of 2003. The yet-to-be-named robot will be able to play chess, perform household security and surveillance, and act as a personal assistant by checking stock prices, weather, or travel info through its wireless Internet connection.

Hmmm..., posted 11 Nov 2002 at 06:51 UTC by robodave » (Journeyer)

Strange.. no one seems excited about this little biped robot.. There's Pino, that one could obtain (only if a research institution) for around $30K I believe.. SDR-4X that may be for sale shortly for around the price of a luxury car, perhaps $30K to $40K... The Fujitsu HOAP-1 that seems to be around $48K, and even Asimo, that companys can "lease" for around $100K. And then these Canadian folks come up with something similar (at least to the little guys) for less than a tenth of the cost.. Former ATI execs apparently running the company.. If you follow the link here you will find a news story and short demo of the Dr Robot biped by clicking the top link of the search returned results. It is a .wmv file (Windows Media) that works out pretty well on a higher speed connnection. Maybe it's just one of those "too good to be true" things?

I think I'd rather have a Evolution robot myself, posted 11 Nov 2002 at 22:26 UTC by earlwb » (Master)

You can get a laptop and a Evolution robot chassis unit. At least it can fetch a new beer/soda when you need one. It has email, and can dial out using a wireless cellular phone link too (like for 911 in case of trouble). Plus it doesn't cost a jillion dollars either.

Personal assistant?, posted 12 Nov 2002 at 17:22 UTC by Perceptron » (Observer)

I don't know how this little guy could help out very much around the house...

Loftly claims about all it can do on its 15 minutes of battery power always amuse me, perhaps it has a funnel that I could pee in the top to utilize my organic wastes to power a new sort of fuel cell?

Interesting Perspectives..., posted 12 Nov 2002 at 20:02 UTC by robodave » (Journeyer)

Not sure where some of these come from but...

earlwb (Hi Earl) stated that he liked the ER1 better. Yes it has wireless, but where did you hear of the "dialing a cell phone" part? If it's through a web interface or program on the laptop, it seems the Dr Robot model could be capable of this also, as it too has wireless connectivity. Cost? ER1 at $700 PLUS a laptop (insert your price for a PIII 500 Mhz Win 98 machine here, Pricewatch lists $630 as a lowball, probably obtainable for $700-$750 at First Saturday). So a total of around $1400 to $1500... Dr Robots has estimated $1500 to $3100 in one of their news stories.. significantly less than a "jillion" dollars. Getting a drink from the fridge? That may be a capability as soon as Evolution releases that interesting grabber they demoed, but it will only be able to get a drink off of one specific shelf at a specific height. And how much does the arm add to the price? What if there is a step between your kitchen and say a "sunken" living room or where ever it's supposed to take your drink? The Dr Robot model does look a little shaky, but it could be seen to at least get across a step or 2, maybe even tightly hugging a can that it could reach from at least the bottom 2 shelves of a refrigrator. About battery power.. guess I missed the 15 minutes refered to on the Dr Robot website or the press releases, perhaps you could point it out? I-Cybie with properly charged 700 mAh NiCad battery packs has an "active" runtime of about an hour.. still not very good. It seems Dr Robots claims of "Personal Assistant" run the gamut of what you'd get from carrying a wireless PDA about. Not very power consuming. Perhaps the main issue would be the ability to modify the 2 platforms. The ER1 is very readily changable to different configurations, different abilities. Who knows about Dr Robot? Robot hackers would obviously love to twiddle with different functions, add and expand things, where as Joe consumer probably just takes what is given and uses it as is.

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