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Tuesday, November 12, 2002

tmsuk and Sanyo Electric Reveal New and Improved 'Banryu' Home-Robot

Tokyo (JCNN) - tmsuk Co., LTD., (pronounced "temzack") a small robotics firm from Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, and Sanyo Electric (TSE: 6764), have developed an improved version of their home-robot Banryu. The two companies wish to finalize the design and details and to commence the marketing of the first-ever useful home robot to the general public in year 2003.

The new "Banryu", which means "guard-dragon" in place of "guard-dog", takes on a look of an ancient reptile with a futuristic twist. The development of the robot was commenced in year 2001. The new Banryu incorporates significant improvements to the earlier prototype shown at the ROBODEX-2002 (Yokohama, Japan) exhibition in March 2002. Its speed has been increased from 3meters/min. to 15meters/min., a velocity more than fast enough for a home robot designed to travel in confined cluttered spaces. It also is able to confidently go over gaps over 10cm, sensing the height with sets of sensors located on its legs.

The robot also holds onboard a completely new "odor-sensor" developed jointly by tmsuk, Kanazawa Institute of Technology (Professor Nanto), and New Cosmos Electric Co., LTD. The developers believe that this is one of the first devices that can sense a particular odor with practical accuracy. With the sensor the robot will be able to detect "burnt scent" which is known to occur in the atmosphere preceding a fire.

The robot is aimed to be used for several purposes including home-security defined loosely. The developers are in talks with the market leader, Sohgo Security Services Co., LTD., regarding provision of related services, technology and know-how.

tmsuk is to "pre-market" the product at the end of this year. (the delivery to customers is likely to take place next Spring) tmsuk plans to market about 50 Banryus to interested customers domestically for this exercise. The details will be posted at the Banryu web site ( . A full marketing effort is to follow by the end of 2003, should the result of the pre-marketing be favorable.

tmsuk was responsible for the design and development of the robot and its mechanism. Sanyo provided batteries and power train, voice/sound recognition technology and cosmetic design. Sanyo is also to manufacture the products post pre-marketing stage.

Visit tmsuk robotics at