[extropy-chat] NEWS: "Parents Defend Decision to Keep Girl Small"

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Jan 6 20:15:53 UTC 2007

On 1/6/07, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> So where are all these promised Japanese nursing and life-assist robots?
> It seems they could become big export hits, sooner than expected.


also at:

Top 10 robots selected for Robot Award 2006
UPDATE Dec 21, 2006: Winners announced

(Note: These are the ten winners from 152 applications, so there is
plenty of other work going on).


    - Paro — seal robot with therapeutic properties (Intelligent
System/ AIST/ Microgenics)
    Paro is a furry white robot modeled after a baby harp seal. Paro
is fitted with sensors beneath its fur and whiskers that let it
respond to petting by opening and closing its eyes and moving its
flippers. More than 800 of the seal robots, developed by Japan's
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science, are used for
therapy in Japanese nursing homes and by autistic and handicapped
children, according to the award's Web site.

- My Spoon — meal assistance robot (SECOM)
Designed to assist patients unable to use their hands, My Spoon
enables users to enjoy ordinary meals by transporting food from a tray
to the patient's mouth, one bite at a time.

 Robotic building cleaning system (Fuji Heavy Industries/ Sumitomo)
This autonomous robot roams the hallways of buildings, performing
cleaning operations along the way. Capable of controlling elevators,
the robot can move from floor to floor unsupervised, and it returns to
its start location once it has finished cleaning. The robot is
currently employed as a janitor at 10 high-rise buildings in Japan,
including Harumi Triton Square and Roppongi Hills.


    - MOTOMAN-DIA10/ MOTOMAN-IA20 (Yaskawa Electric)
    These industrial robot arms are capable of human-like movement,
which is great news for factories worried about Japan's shrinking
population (and human labor force). The DIA10 consists of two 7-axis
arms mounted on a torso.

 High-speed reliability verification robot (Denso Wave)
This robot relies on advanced machine vision technology to perform
automated inspections on the go. Highly reliable inspections can be
performed at each location without stopping the line, allowing for
speedier and more cost-effective operations.


    - Tele-operated construction equipment (Fujita/ Technical Office
of Kyushu, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Kyugi))
    These remote-control unmanned construction machines were
originally developed for dangerous recovery operations following
disasters such as avalanches and rockslides. Designed to prevent the
occurrence of secondary disasters and greatly limit further damage and
injury, these robots were deployed at the site of a disastrous
mudslide that occurred in Okinawa in June 2006.

- Urashima — deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle (Japan Agency for
Marine-Earth Science and Technology)
Urashima is a remotely operated vehicle for deep-sea exploration. The
10-meter long vessel relies on hydrogen-based fuel cell batteries that
allow it to travel much greater distances than vessels powered by
standard lithium-ion batteries. Urashima is expected to play an
important role in pre-dive surveys for manned submarines and in the
survey of areas considered dangerous for or inaccessible by manned
research submarines.


I suspect there is understandable reluctance to give autonomous robots
authority to look after disabled humans.  Assistance first, under
strict control. Then more development in future.


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