Robots Resources for the Masses.

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Thursday, October 18, 2001

Yahoo! News - Reuters Photo - The Pod, SONY / TOYOTA
The Pod

A new vehicle called "the pod", developed by Japan's Toyota Motor Corp and electronics giant Sony Corp, will smile, frown and cry, not to mention take your pulse and measure your sweat. The car is seen in an undated handout photo. It has been designed to show emotion and learn from driver experience and will be on display for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show that begins next week.

Internal sensors and primary operational parts
NeCoRo - Internal sensors and primary operational parts

1) Responds to human movement/emotions
2) Has feelings and desires, and its personality will adjust to its owner
3) Remembers its name and acknowledges its name when called
4) Synthetic fur gives it a feline appearance, so it feels natural to treat it like a cat, stroking and hugging it

Dimensions Outer dimensions: 260mm x 160mm x 320mm (excluding tail)
Weight: 1.6 Kg (when battery is inserted)
Fur material: Acrylic (gray or brown)
Sensing and recognition Tactile sensors are embedded in the head, chin and back, so it can recognize stroking and patting

A microphone is in the head, so it can detect sound and recognize the source of the sound

As it's name is called over and over it will remember its name and react when called

Within its scope of vision, it can perceive the direction of moving objects

An internal acceleration sensor allows it to know its position when cradled or spun around

Feeling generation mechanism Equipped with Omron's proprietary MaC (Mind and Consciousness) technology, feelings are generated according to recognition feedback, which isdependent on configurations based on psychological concepts, leading to cognitive decisions andactions determined by these feelings (applicablepatent acquired)

Feelings of satisfaction, anger, and uneasiness generated based on recognition feedback

Desires to sleep or be cuddled generated according to physiological rhythms

Via a learning function, personality traits such as selfishness and the need for attention will change in response to the owner

Via a growth function, expressive patterns in reaction to the owner will increase

Actuators 4 legs (each with two degrees of freedom), tail with two degrees of freedom, neck with two degrees of freedom, and eyelids, ears, and a mouth each with one degree of freedom, for a total of 15 degrees of freedom. Equipped with many movement patterns and a voice speaker, 48 different cat sounds can be vocalized.
Power supply Replaceable nickel hydrogen battery (Ni-MH)

Battery is good for 1 hour and 30 minutes of operation (battery is charged to full capacity in 2 hours)

Accessories Battery pack/special charger/instruction manual/ brush

Support system
Home page: On-line from the evening of October 16
NeCoRo Customer Center:
Handles inquiries about the product - Beginning October 17
NeCoRo Care Center:
Provides information to customers -Scheduled to open from November 20

Ordering NeCoRo
From October 17: Takashimaya outlets (Tokyo, Shinjuku, Yokohama, Tamagawa, Osaka, Kyoto, and JR Nagoya)
From November 3: By phone or through the web page (until November 18)

Product shipment
From November 20 in sequence of orders

Robotory's Photo Album
New pictures in Robotory's Photo Album :
  • Atuko
  • H6
  • Honda
  • Kawada Isamu
  • NeCoRo
  • Sony
    That's all for today !

  • Wednesday, October 17, 2001

    Middle managers replaced by robots by 2051
    But will anyone notice the difference?

    Tuesday 16th October 2001 1:45pm
    Offices will disappear and robots will replace middle-managers within the next 50 years.

    The prediction comes from the entry that won the '50 Years of Business Computing' competition organised by the National Computing Centre.

    In her study, amateur futurologist Chandra Amaravadi, a researcher at Western Illinois University, predicts the impact IT might have on people's 'working and personal lives over the next five decades.

    Japan Today Japan News - Japan's Leading International News Network
    Omron lets robot cat out of the bag

    Edmund Klamann
    Wednesday, October 17, 2001 at 09:30 JST


    Ananova - Fur-covered cat robot promises to be a real pet
    Story filed: 13:37 Tuesday 16th October 2001
    Omron has developed a fur-covered cat robot imbued with artificial intelligence.
    The makers say it can recognise its own name and develop a unique character.
    NeCoRo will cost about £1,050 when it launches in Japan next month.
    There are no plans so far to sell NeCoRo overseas. The initial sale, which begins on November 20, has been limited to just 5,000 units.
    [...] : A Cat That Doesn't Need a Litter Box
    A Japanese Company Creates a Robotic Cat
    By Edmund Klamann
    T O K Y O, Oct. 16 — Japan's biggest toymaker pioneered the world's first virtual pet, the Tamagotchi, and the nation's most famous electronics maker rolled out the No. 1 robot dog, Aibo.
    Now one of its biggest makers of automated factory systems, Omron Corp, has weighed in with a robot cat: NeCoRo.
    For Japanese Cat-Lovers Only
    Only 5,000 of the acrylic-furred felines will be up for sale, and only in Japan, with a retail list price of 185,000 yen ($1,530) each.

    Monday, October 15, 2001

    Ananova - Inventor creates robotic guide dogs
    Story filed: 14:06 Saturday 13th October 2001
    A Japanese inventor has created a robot 'guide dog' to help visually-impaired people get around.
    The dog uses video cameras and sensors to avoid obstacles.

    IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots
    November 22-24, 2001
    Waseda University International Conference Center, Tokyo, Japan