The Techfest at IIT Bombay saw a number of robots being displayed at the exhibition, this year. It had everything from athletic robots indulging in sports, to humanoids and robotic pets. But here is something that could be a great companion to just about anyone. So, the next time you find it difficult to remember where you’ve kept the headphones or your glasses, you can rely on this new robot, christened EMIEW2. It is of the size of a six-year old child and has wheels placed on its feet to facilitate easy movement across a room and the posture control technology assists in movements. It weighs 14 kgs and its legs fold for easy portability.
It can find lost things (Image Credit: Hitachi)
The EMIEW2 is the latest version of the robot that was developed by Hitachi, way back in 2005. The upgraded version comes with artificial intelligence that helps identify and also locate objects. It can also recognize faces. Reportedly, the robot was recently showcased and shown a digital camera. On seeing the digital camera, the robot replied that it’s probably a DSLR camera. Basically, it has two cameras mounted on its head which compare colour and shape with images that are stored in the database. “EMIEW collects images of various objects from the internet and saves them on an external database. Then, when you show it something, EMIEW figures out what it is by comparing the colour and shape. If you name an object, EMIEW searches for it and guides you to where it is located.” said developer Takashi Sumiyoshi. It has to use a network of cameras, which are placed around a room.
At the demo, the robot was asked to find a watch, and it efficiently found it by saying that the watch is on Mr. Tanaka’s desk and it lead the person towards the watch. The robot can glide at a speed of 6km an hour. “We developed this robot to mainly provide guidance services for people, so it has to be nimble in moving around without bumping into people, and light as well so it wouldn't hurt anybody even if it accidentally hit them,” Sumiyoshi said.
About the availability, the developers do not intend to commercialize the robot. Its makers believe that it could be an essential part of hospitals, homes for the aged and other industries.
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