Friday, May 20, 2005

Home Care Robots from Toshiba

Toshiba unveils go-with-you robot sidekick
May 20, 2005, 15:48 gmt

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese electronics giant Toshiba unveiled robots to help out the elderly and children from the home to the shopping mall by following them and responding to their voices.
The "ApriAttanda" identifies an individual with its visual sensor and high-speed image processing system and follows the person.

When the person moves forward, the robot moves forward. When the person stops, the robot stops -- while maintaining a certain distance.
If the robot loses contact with its companion, it calls to the person and responds to their reply, Toshiba said.

Apri robots from Toshiba

The other type of robot, nicknamed "sharp ear," detects the directions of voices from multiple speakers with six built-in microphones and recognizes what they have said.
The company plans to develop the robots further so that they "can accompany people to shopping complexes and carry things, look after young children and elderly people."

It also aims to make the robots capable of sending images to family members outside showing what is going on at home.

The company targets commercialization of the robot sidekicks in five or six years time.



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