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Hitachi Unveils Humanoid Robot

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the almost-human dept.

Robotics 245

HunahpuMonkey writes "BBC reports that Hitachi has unveiled a humanoid robot, named Emiew, to compete with Honda's Asimo and Sony's Qrio robots. The robot has a vocabulary of about 100 words and could be trained for practical office and factory use. In addition, it is the fastest robot to date, moving 3.7 miles per hour on wheel feet which resemble the bottom half of a Segway scooter."

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245 comments

Battle Stairs! (4, Funny)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959508)

OK, here is the challenge:

Hitachi's new wheeled robot versus Honda's Asimo and Sony's Qrio in BATTLE STAIRS! First one down a flight of 100 steps intact wins.

:-)

Re:Battle Stairs! (1)

UltimaL337Star (641853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959562)

Seriously, the title is kinda misleading, for some reason when I heard humanoid I thought of bipedal legs, like most humans have. I have this humanoid hand puppet that can flail like a monster.

Re:Battle Stairs! (1)

mbrewthx (693182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959643)

To be more PC hitachi developed this robot as not to be insensitive to those who are movement challenged are require a wheelchair. Next they will be devloping a full line of robots based on various sexual orientations. But they may meet with opposition from Lucasfilm as George Lucas designed the first homosexual robot C3PO.

Terrible secrets of space (0, Offtopic)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959590)

"I will protect you from the terrible secrets of space. ...do you have stairs in your house?!"

*Pusher and Shover robot*

Re: Battle Stairs! (2, Funny)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959668)

"First one down a flight of 100 steps *intact* wins."

So what do the rules of this competition say about winning? Would that be "to move down the steps fastest", or would they allow "to fall down in the shortest possible time, and built strong enough to survive the impact?"

The most difficult road is the most interesting one.

Down? Now what? (0, Offtopic)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959740)

> > "First one down a flight of 100 steps *intact* wins."
>
> So what do the rules of this competition say about winning? Would that be "to move down the steps fastest", or would they allow "to fall down in the shortest possible time, and built strong enough to survive the impact?"

One hundred stairs de-scended!

We are the su-perior being!

We have e-merged victorious!

EX-TERM-I-aaw, FUCK. [somethingawful.com] .

(Not my photoshop. Original at bottom of http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=1419 [somethingawful.com] . And as my desktop wallpaper.)

Re: Battle Stairs! (4, Funny)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 9 years ago | (#11960090)

Meet my unbeatable entry, called the Bowling-Bo. Maybe not as good on manual labour as the Hitachi version but it only has a vocabulary of 100 words less and will pwn the stair challenge.

Re:Battle Stairs! (1)

Forthan Red (820542) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959858)

Yes, it has the dreaded Dalak flaw. But that's the only way we'll be able to defeat them when they try to take over. The story doesn't say if "Exterminate!" is part of their vocabulary. Yet.

Re:Battle Stairs! (2, Funny)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959907)

In all honesty, if the steps are equal in length and hieght, the Hitachi could slide on its back by accelerating really fast. After sliding down, it would just keep rolling.

For REAL fun, I say give the stairs various heights and widths, maybe a turn or two and some spikes. I LOOOVE me some spikes.

Cog and Kismet (2, Funny)

filmmaker (850359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959511)

Totota and Hitachi got nuthin' on MIT's Cog and Kismet [mit.edu]

I foresee a fight scene ala Anchorman; Cog wielding a switch-blade.

"Como estas, bitches!"

Re:Cog and Kismet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959555)

Besides that the japanese companies robots actually work and MIT's stuff is just over-rated hype?

Re:Cog and Kismet (3, Insightful)

filmmaker (850359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959706)

Your VCR also actually works. It also has an extremely limited and unambitious feature set.

That's not to say that the Japanese robots aren't major accomplishments; they are. So is a VCR, if you think about it. Just not when you stack it up against the goal of creating true AI, which is what Cog is all about, "humanoid intelligence."

Re:Cog and Kismet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959818)

Still they are just talking the talk, not walking the walk, which is what I have come to expect from MIT lately.

oooooo, 100 words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959516)

They should have called it Project Einstein.

Intelligencia (5, Funny)

oskard (715652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959521)

"The robot has a vocabulary of about 100 words and could be trained for practical office and factory use"

I don't know about you, but a 100 word vocabulary is already vastly superior to some of the factory workers I've worked with.

Re:Intelligencia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959624)

I don't know about you, but a 100 word vocabulary is already vastly superior to some of the factory workers I've worked with.

I worked in a factory. One of my coworkers used a calculator to figure out what 10 * 20 was, repeatedly. We worked on a line that churned out 2x4s into pallets and wrapped them. They came in about 5 different configurations. This person must have been 45 years old.

Re:Intelligencia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959727)

And the practical orifice use sounds like a bonus!

Re:Intelligencia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959845)

...a 100 word vocabulary is already vastly superior to some of the factory workers I've worked with.

It even compares admirably with the average slashdotters vocabulary. ..and yes, this was obligatory..

Re:Intelligencia (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 9 years ago | (#11960133)

Obligatory?

Me fail english? That's unpossible!
(Yeah, I know, bad quote but a single word post does not pass the lameness filter so technically this is filler).

Re:Intelligencia (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11960012)

I don't know who modded you funny, factory workers are literary Goliaths compared to the president of the USA.

+5 Shit Scary.

Something about that name... (5, Funny)

spawnofbill (757153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959524)

Does anyone else get the mental image of a large feathered robot with a tendency to hump sunbathing women? Or is it just me?

Re:Something about that name... (2, Funny)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959571)

Does anyone else get the mental image of a large feathered robot with a tendency to hump sunbathing women? Or is it just me?

I believe it is just you.

-Em

Re:Something about that name... (1)

spawnofbill (757153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959656)

oh. Ok. Just checking... I'm still getting the mental image...

Re:Something about that name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959819)

oh.. I thought you meant you had a tendency to try to hump sunbathing women.

Segway wheels? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959535)

Why did we hear no hyperbole from Steve Jobs prior to this?

Why don't we have a robotics industry? (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959536)

I know we have robotics research etc, but shouldnt we has a "technologoical" economy be revealing our own robots?

Re:Why don't we have a robotics industry? (2, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959608)

My thoughts exactly. Imagine how much faster things would be if I could go to a McDonalds, punch in what I wanted on the screen, swipe my card, and wait for the robots to put the food together. You could reduce the staff of such an operation from ten people to two, and the food quality would be identical. Of course, this would also be upfront cost for the companies, and would hurt the economy undoubtedly as it would require the firing of multiple thousands of people, but we'd have a progress in technology.

I guess to sum it up best, I WANT MY DAMNED FLYING CAR.

Re:Why don't we have a robotics industry? (2, Insightful)

UWC (664779) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959712)

Back in the mid/late '90s, there was a Taco Bell near me that installed touch screen ordering stations. You'd get your receipt with a number on it, and a few minutes later you'd hear your number called and maybe barely glimpse a human figure darting back behind the large wall that completely obscured the kitchen area. Then you'd retrieve your order from the very small counter where your food had been placed. In retrospect it was an odd clinical dehumanization of something still carried out by humans. Unless there were robots back there, I guess, one of which was dressed in a purple shirt and a wig.

Re:Why don't we have a robotics industry? (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959613)

I know we have robotics research etc, but shouldnt we has a "technologoical" economy be revealing our own robots?

Between our high schools, wal-marts, liberal media, conservative media, etc. - we are churning out robots by millions.

-Em

Re:Why don't we have a robotics industry? (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959734)

Between our high schools, wal-marts, liberal media, conservative media, etc. - we are churning out robots by millions.


Ab-so-fucking-lutely.

This is all fine... (3, Funny)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959545)

... as long as they don't enslave humans in order to protect them and make a cyborg with prejudice for robots our only hope of freedom.

Ah, and rape a fine writers' memory in the process!

Wheel feet resemble bottom half of segway? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959551)

Would that be the wheel part?

Re:Wheel feet resemble bottom half of segway? (1)

UWC (664779) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959746)

Would that be the wheel part?

I figured it was the "only two parallel wheels with no other visible means of support" part.

I found myself wondering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959816)

If the bottom half goes 3.7MPH, how fast does the top half go?

I think the saddest part about this... (5, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959568)

Is that the only companies willing to do any practical research in robotics is car companies because they use robotics on such a daily basis (the building of cars, of course).

Not only that, robotics is one of the most fun branches of modern computing and engineering, and yet so few engineers actually go into it. It's a shame we aren't meeting up with more robots in real life (Fast foods should be relegated to robotics by now, as the food quality tends to resemble it)...

Re:I think the saddest part about this... (2, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959603)

Actually, i find these robot anouncements by major electronic companies pure PR moves. Yes, they look cool and can do nifty things - but they aren't much good for anything else. We're still a far cry away from humanoid robots to become common, and, more important, useful.

Specialized robots, like you mentioned, it's a whole different deal, and i agree. Automatized construction is the only industry i can think of that invest heavily in robotic research - we could use specialzed robots elsewhere.

Re:I think the saddest part about this... (2, Interesting)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959675)

One of the coolest specialized robots I've seen to date is the robot that's going to be installed here at the University of Louisville as soon as they complete the renovation of the Library building. (Search for Robotic Retrieval System on your favorite search engine).

Basically it's going to be a robot to retrieve books in the library, allowing the books to be packed denser on the shelves, thus boosting the capacity of our Library by 1.2M books. This kind of technology is amazing, and we should be finding ways to push it into our lives for much more general work than that. Robotics research shouldn't have to be done by the car companies of the world.

Re:I think the saddest part about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959778)

If you dug beneath your house and found a 50 year old record player the size of a kitchen, with support for 1.2M records and a giant mechanical arm that could access these tightly packed records autmatically, would you think it was a good idea? No. You'd laugh and think "I can't believe people actually used this shit!". You'd have a joke about it with your friends, submit a story about it to /. and get on with your life.

Well my friend, that's what your new library system is like at the University of Louisville. Enjoy it while it works, I guess.

Re:I think the saddest part about this... (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959834)

I would think it's a marvelous idea since the system's designed to store older books that are currently sitting in back rooms in card board boxes.

Sure, I'd love to see them digitized just as would anyone, but it's just not practical as of yet, where handwriting recognition software isn't quite where it needs to be, and a lot of these books need special treatment that a robot could provide a lot easier than a human could.

And if I dug under my kitchen and found it... There'd be a lot more fuss about it than a /. article...

Why the fuck did I just waste my time replying to an AC?

Re:I think the saddest part about this... (2, Interesting)

omahajim (723760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11960127)

Allowing the books to be packed denser on the shelves? You mean they're not already stacked side by side? Or, do you mean that they're getting rid of those pesky wide aisles that humans need to navigate among the stacks?

Re:I think the saddest part about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959835)

Fast foods should be relegated to robotics by now

I realize that you were, sorta, joking here, but keep in mind that the ff industry employs a significant # of people, and having them all replaced would put a significant strain on social systems already maxed out. I think this is one of the reasons you DON'T see more robots in places that you COULD see robots even today (after all, is there really a technical reason many FF places couldn't be automated today in a cost effective manner?)

Re:I think the saddest part about this... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11960070)

Umm no. It costs a shitload more money to automate the FF industry than it does to hire untrained labor. There's an endless supply of 16 year old kids, why would you want to put a significant investment into making robots that you then need to maintain.

Actually... (4, Insightful)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959855)

To me, the saddest part about all this is that the only companies willing to do any practical research in robotics are Japanese car companies because they look farther into the future than the next quarterly earnings report. The Japanese car companies are pumping R&D dollars into developing new technologies that will help them in the long run. The American car companies are taking that money and pumping it into bonuses for CEOs so they can buy a new ivory backscracther every year.

Face it, we just don't have the drive to improve that companies in other countries do.

GMD

Re:I think the saddest part about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11960143)

Hitachi cars are the best!

So life-like... (5, Funny)

mfender9 (725994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959572)

Obviously much effort has been put into making this as closely resemble us wheeled humanoids as possible. Hitachi, I applaud you!

I've seen something like this. (5, Interesting)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959577)

During a brief sojourn to Japan a couple of years back, there was a music store that had a robotics theme.

Very little stock was on hand, but you would select the music you wanted on one of the robots. It'd burn the audio CD, print up the liner, and assemble a shrink-wrapped product for a couple of yen more than one you'd get off the shelf, then dance around the room playing the biggest hit off the album.

The experience would only have been cooler if it could talk with you, although the sushi-dispensing robots did have a few stock phrases and voice recognition (you had to shout for them to hear you however).

Re:I've seen something like this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959783)

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.
-- Dr. Spock, stardate 2822-3.


Actually, that was Yoda in Empire Strikes Back.

Re:I've seen something like this. (3, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959970)

"although the sushi-dispensing robots did have a few stock phrases and voice recognition"

I bet that the 'used womens panties' vending machine would be the one with the most interesting conversation...

Robot on a segway (2, Insightful)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959585)

Its a robot on a segway...

I like the idea, but does it fall over and break when the batteries die? Are they going to add a third wheel for safety reasons. (LOL)

What's the big deal about humanoid robots? (4, Insightful)

Noose For A Neck (610324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959596)

I'm not robotics expert, I'm just an engineering student, but it seems to me that humanoid robots are a sort of marketing victory more than being a genuine breakthrough.

Most industrial robots I've seen don't need a humanoid form at all, and I can imagine several cases were the humanoid form is actually an impairment to getting work done. Why not go with more structurally efficient designs, like a spider, instead of focusing on bipedal bots for uses requiring ambulation?

Re:What's the big deal about humanoid robots? (3, Insightful)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959719)

Why not go with more structurally efficient designs, like a spider, instead of focusing on bipedal bots for uses requiring ambulation?

As long as it has a face I can punch I don't care what shape it comes in.

But in all seriousness I do agree, the quest for human shaped robots is intriguing. We are obviously not the most able bodied creatures when it comes to our "form factor", our superiority is not in our shape but in our huge monkey brain.

Maybe it's to out people at ease, but I for one do _not_ welcome our new humanoid robot overlords. It creeps me out when things that don't have a soul start talking to me. Call me crazy.

Re:What's the big deal about humanoid robots? (1)

jjthe2 (684242) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959772)

Because when Cyberdyne sends a robot assassin back in time to kill our leader, it needs to look like us so it can fit in and gain our trust.

Re:What's the big deal about humanoid robots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959958)

Shouldn't that be SkyNet? CyberDyne as a corporation had ceased to exist by 2029.

Re:What's the big deal about humanoid robots? (4, Insightful)

hauntedspaceship (548729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959836)

Because our environment is designed and optimized for humans. By creating robots that resemble us (same actuators (hands), ability to understand and speak our language, see what we can see), then they already can operate in our environment.

There is also the idea of robot-human interaction: would you rather interact with Asimo or a spider?

Re:What's the big deal about humanoid robots? (3, Insightful)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959843)

because what they want to move toward are all-purpose robots capable of serving in a variety of environments shared with humans. most of these environments are currently designed for humans. obviously the best form factor for maneuvering such an environment and manipulating objects designed for humans would be that of a human.

that, and they look way cool...

Re:What's the big deal about humanoid robots? (2, Interesting)

kid-noodle (669957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959895)

Asimov gives a good argument for humanoid robots in Caves of Steel - namely economy.

Do you buy a robot cooker, microwave, eggbeater etc. etc. Or a robot that can use the tools already?

Re:What's the big deal about humanoid robots? (1)

Pyromage (19360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959915)

Not because we want humanoid robots as such; there is some use for them, of course, but you're right: they aren't the solution to all problems.

However, many of the problems involved in making a bipedal robots are the same problems you get in other areas. For instance, I suspect that the problems in making a robot walk on two legs are present to some extent in making a 4 or 8 legged robot. That is, while we can make an 8 legged robot now, if we knew how to make a 2 legged one, we could probably make a better 8 legged one.

That's the first example that comes to mind; it's rather silly because you could just start with the 8-legged robot and make it better on its own. But I think it serves to illustrate the idea, at least.

At least, this is why I like humanoid robots.

Re:What's the big deal about humanoid robots? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11960113)

like a spider, instead of focusing on bipedal bots for uses requiring ambulation

If controlling two legs is complex then controlling eight should be a snap right? Please...

Ok so what are these good for. (3, Insightful)

Dimentox (678813) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959600)

Can it do my laundry? Can it Walk the dog? Can it cook my meals? Hrmm... Guess its not a replacement for Wife 1.0, I never shoulda upgraded in the first place.

Re:Ok so what are these good for. (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959720)

Laundry, no. But you could probably attach a buggy to it and have it carry it for you.

Walk the dog? Sure! Attach the leash to the unit and let it pull.

Cook your meals? Perhaps if it were modified with a flipper arm and a dunking arm, and a voice module to say "Would you like fries with that?"

It may not be up to part for Wife 1.0, but hell if it isn't a good pet ;).

Re:Ok so what are these good for. (2, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959864)

"Can it do my laundry? Can it Walk the dog? Can it cook my meals? Hrmm... Guess its not a replacement for Wife 1.0, I never shoulda upgraded in the first place."

Being an early adopter is hell. I still haven't gotten any calls on my video phone. I ended up rerouting my cable to it so I could pretend celebrities are calling.

Re:Ok so what are these good for. (1)

LighthouseJ (453757) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959968)

If you're already at the point where you refer to your wife in version numbers, prepare for Wife 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 and 3.11 For Workgroups.

Re:Ok so what are these good for. (1)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 9 years ago | (#11960077)

Can it do my laundry? Can it Walk the dog? Can it cook my meals? Hrmm... Guess its not a replacement for Wife 1.0, I never shoulda upgraded in the first place.

I was going to break your heart and let you in on something ELSE that robot can't do with you, but then I realized you said WIFE 1.0 and not GIRLFRIEND 1.0, so the point is likely moot?

Slow Learners (2, Insightful)

hopbine (618442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959623)

could be "trained" for practical office and factory use in as little as five to six years. Or is this how long it normally takes.....

Re:Slow Learners (1)

raider_red (156642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959806)

We had an intern a few years ago who wasn't nearly as useful. I figured training him to do light office work would probably take about nine or ten years.

all is fine but... (1)

same_old_story (833424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959633)

ok the bots are cool. very cool.
but when will carmakers use all this tech they are apparently researching into actual cars .
fact is, we've been driving (almost) the same old pieces of junk.
cars should improve much faster than they have been.
we are waiting.

yes yes, the robots are cool.

What is it with Slashdot? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959642)

The only thing this goddam editors are willing to put on the front page is -> Linux, junk robots, hentai, computer-case mods, multiple computer books on same subject, junk science, Roland Pi-queerpal, incomplete caselaw, false-judge rulings, and the blunt of the truth is modded -1 because it is obviously so patriotic..

Nothing has been posted on constitutional law, science, or technology; that is original and not posted elsewhere. It's all junk, repeats and re-leaching from other editors that are just as bad and condone the same.

Slashdot is all become bullshit

Re:What is it with Slashdot? (1)

cartel (845256) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959757)

That's why there's politics.slashdot.org, science.slashdot.org, and it.slashdot.org.

Humanoid robots? (4, Funny)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959647)

Since when did humanoids have wheels?

Damn I'm behind, I gotta get rid of these stupid legs.

UPGRADE

It has to be said... (4, Funny)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959657)

I, for one, welcome our new office work performing over-

Awe, crap, who am I kidding? I'm going to be freakin' outsourced to one of these little @#$@#$ers...

DIE, YOU LITTLE ROTTER! R2D2 WAS TWICE THE BOT YOU WILL EVER BE!

Why robot research is wasteful (4, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959690)

Japan is pouring billions into robotic software research in part because they don't allow much immigration and migrant workers, and thus want to develop robots to fill those niches instead.

However, rather than build an artificial brain, it appears more cost effective and closer to improve the bandwidth costs so that such bots can be controlled from low-wage nations. We don't need artificial intelligence because there are billions of idle human brains around the planet.

I suppose one could argue that remote-control servants could end up causing malice, but artificial alternives may do the same either because AI might go bizerk, or more likely because it is not good enough yet and will make stupid mistakes.

In short, remote-controll appears the more reachable goal at this stage. Bandwidth cost reduction does not appear to need the giant breakthrus that AI does.

Holding office (2, Insightful)

Onan (25162) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959708)

I first misread the summary as, "...has a vocabulary of about 100 words and could be trained for political office use..."

(Of course, my first thought was that that's vastly overqualified for what it apparently takes to be elected President these days.)

Blimey! (1)

payndz (589033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959743)

Any 2000AD reader would recognise that as an ancestor of foul-mouthed sanitation droid Ro-Jaws! Hammerstein surely can't be far off...

The end of the Microsoft Employee (3, Funny)

bananahead (829691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959859)

This will end the hiring of new employees at Microsoft. Just the fact that it moves AT ALL, much less 3.6 MPH will render the entire program management, middle management and test groups obsolete.

I'm pretty sure Dean Kamen has a patent lock... (1)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959875)

Two wheels, side-by-side and self-balancing is pretty much Dean's turf. I wonder if he licensed it to Hitachi. If so, go Dean. If not, Hitachi might have some 'splaining to do.

Re:I'm pretty sure Dean Kamen has a patent lock... (1)

jotux (660112) | more than 9 years ago | (#11960085)

Two wheeled balancing robots have been around many years before the segway....but I wonder if they are use segway technology anyways. Seems like it would be a reasonably reliabe system to build on.

The problem with .... (5, Informative)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959916)

The problem with these robots is how fragile they are. I havent physically seen the other two robots, but Honda's Asimo stays in a little closet when in the lab. Not your typical closet of course, but you get the idea. When in the lab, all you see are other cheaper parts of robots similar or duplicated from Asimo. All the work and main testing is done on these pieces (which makes sense). The thing that I don't like though, and many people don't realize, is that before Asimo is ever unveiled to the public, he undergoes at least 8 hours of configuration. This is each and every time, and then he can only run for maybe an hour and a half iirc. These robots certainly have a lot of potential, and one day possibly could do factory work, but right now the public is being mislead thinking we are further along then we really are. People see this robot and think it probably just walks around all day and they'd like one. There are certainly some huge milestones being made, but the most publically known robots are imho overhyped. I'm not being a pessimist, I would just like to see even more reasearch in humanoid robotics so we can have the future sooner rather then later. Even just a self configuring Asimo would be a huge step in the right direction.
Regards,
Steve

R.U.R. Rossum's Universal Robots anyone?! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959935)

RUR is a german play whos script was published as a book. Its about how a company sold robots for work in factories and offices and as secretaries. It ended up destroying the earth.

This just made me think of it, Great read!

minus 5, TroLl) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959977)

of FreeBSD Usenet

In Korea ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959999)

In Korea only old robots use wheels.

AWESOM-O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11960021)

"Hey there have you heard about my robot friend?
He's metal and small and doesn't judge me at all
He's a cyber-wire bundle of joy
My Robot Friend
I like to tip and battle with my robot friend
(just a guess, i couldnt tell what he said)
BUTTERS: He's as smart as can be, and emotion free
And he's computed his way to my heart
My Robot Friend
My Robot Friend
My Robot Friend
My Robot....friend." /vince

Humanoid on wheels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11960031)

"humanoid robot...which resemble the bottom half of a Segway scooter"

Those Hitachi engineers must not meet many real humans.

Segway Robotic Mobility Platform, or a clone? (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11960089)

Does anyone know if it actually is the bottom half of a Segway [segway.com] , or if it's just a rip-off of Segway's tech?

The bottom looks a bit different, so it's not directly what they show on the Segway RMP page. The robot also looks to have a left/right tilt feature which would be independant of the base... though it doesn't lean too much, so it might not be a significant difference.

Are there any other english-language references to this thing? It must actually be news for a change, there appear to be only a handful of references to this thing in Google's cache, all on news websites.

cool! (1)

djfray (803421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11960108)

A robot helper that doesn't have to be operated by a team of a dozen or so scientist! I remember seeing an Asimo presentation at some museum, and they had asserted that it was autonomous(actually said it was "capable" of autonomous activity, with no proof) but required a team of learned individuals to perform menial tasks. not very efficient if you ask me
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