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Friday, October 17, 2003

Ananova - 'Emotional' robot goes on display
Story filed: 12:54 Thursday 16th October 2003

A pioneering robot capable of showing emotions is to go on public display for the first time.
The machine, called eMo, will greet and interact with visitors to Birmingham's Thinktank from October 25.
As well as expressing a range of emotions from anger to happiness, eMo is also programmed to respond to the moods of people it meets.
Visitors will be challenged to guess eMo's mood, receiving a nod and smile if they are right and an angry shake of the head if they are wrong.
eMo's has been created by Sheffield University Professor Rod Sharkey - who is best known for his role as a judge on the BBC's Robot Wars.
He hopes the robot will provide some fun, but says it could also be a serious research tool.
Prof Sharkey said: 'Such machines may one day play an important role in our lives - actually responding to our moods.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

New Scientist: Martial arts robots hit Asian tech fair
17:00 13 October 03 news service

HOAP-2 stamps the ground like a sumo wrestler (Image: CEATEC)

Humanoid robots capable of performing somersaults and complex martial arts moves were demonstrated at Asia's largest electronics and computing fair in Tokyo on Saturday.
Visitors to CEATEC 2003 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) met Morph3, a human-like robot about 30-centimetres tall developed by researchers at the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan. It can perform back flips and karate moves thanks to 138 pressure sensors, 30 different onboard motors and 14 computer processors.
Another miniature humanoid robot on display was Fujitsu's HOAP-2. This droid has been programmed to perform moves from the Chinese martial art taijiquan, as well as Japanese Sumo wrestling stances.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Japan Corporate News Net : CEATEC Japan 2003: From Sumo to the Martial Arts, a New Generation of Compact Robots Fights it Out at CEATEC Japan
Tokyo, Japan, Oct. 10, 2003 - (JCN Newswire) - Enormous advances are being made in compact robot development, particularly humanoid robots, so mobile and graceful in motion that they might be called beautiful. CEATEC Japan 2003 is giving visitors a look at a future world in which humans and robots coexist to make lifestyles more convenient and abundant.
Wind River Systems, Inc. is exhibiting 'morph 3,' a compact humanoid robot that adopts the company's real-time operating system, VxWORKS (R), and is installed with 13 sub-CPUs (central processing units) in addition to its main CPU. A total of 138 pressure sensors and 30 compact motors allow morph 3 to not only walk on two feet, but also give it the flexibility to perform karate forms, back flips and defensive positions. This robot was designed by a team led by Dr. Takayuki Furuta, chief of the Future Robotics Technology Center at the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan.

EE Times - E-textiles, robot 'skin' among advances at IEDM
By Chappell Brown
EE Times
October 10, 2003 (4:23 a.m. ET)

HANCOCK, N.H. — The upcoming International Electron Devices Meeting will explore the range of potential applications for crystalline organic semiconductors.
The technology occupies an intriguing niche between high-performance silicon and low-end amorphous silicon or polymer electronics. Like polymers, crystalline organic compounds are carbon-based and thus easy to work with. But like crystalline silicon and other inorganic semiconductors, they have better performance than amorphous compounds, making them attractive for a wider number of applications.
The most prominent application to have emerged thus far is the flat-panel display, where organic light-emitting diodes offer low-cost processing on a variety of substrates. But other application areas, such as radio-frequency ID tags, have yielded some promising developments.
In another exotic application, arrays of pentacene organic transistors have been built into a flexible sheet to create a pressure-sensitive “skin” for robots at the Quantum Phase Electronics Center of the University of Tokyo. The sensor arrays are built layer by layer on polyimide films. The design could be realized with large-area printing technology to create low-cost, flexible membranes that could imbue robots with a sense of touch similar to that of the human hand, making them much more dextrous than in the past, the researchers said.