Twendy-One Robot Is Your Humanoid Helper
Twendy-One is a new and improved robot from Waseda University in Japan. The unusual name derives from the name of its predecessor (and sister bot), Wendy. Japan is anticipating a labor shortage in human services (the country has the greatest proportion of senior citizens in the world), and is determined to meet the challenge with robots.
(Twendy-One is ready to assist you)
Twendy-One also the soft touch needed for those essential breakfast tasks like taking toast out of the toaster. Twendy-One has enough strength to serve you breakfast. The trunk of the robot has four degrees of freedom to allow it to bend all the way to the floor to pick up an object, or to wipe up a spill so you won't fall. Twendy-One has the same arm length and reach as an average human woman; the hand has thirteen degrees of freedom for necessary dexterity.
(Twendy-One uses tongs delicately to remove toast)
Twendy-One's hand is biomimetic - it mimics your hand. The fingertips are made of soft material and has a gentle curved surface like a human hand. The fingertips have a six-axis force sensor, and additional distributed force sensors. Twendy-One can pick up and handle delicate objects like paper cups or soft plastic items without crushing them. It can even manipulate a straw!
(Twendy-One has a hand like yours - note the pad at the base of the thumb)
Twendy-one's head does more than just contain two CCD cameras and a force sensor (to detect a touch to the head). The robot can angle and tilt its head like a human being does to indicate intention - like asking a question or nodding to indicate assent.
Compare Twendy-One with this detailed look at RI-MAN, a Japanese health care robot; it has a smell sensor and face tracking, in addition to tactile sensor-guided movement.
Update 15-Apr-2008: See Flexible Frank from Robert Heinlein's The Door Into Summer for a good match on this one (thanks, Pete). End update.
See Twendy-One pick up a ball from the floor. Via RobotWatch; see also the Twendy-One website.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/28/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )
Related News Stories -
Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.
Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but shows real promise.
IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.' - Philip K. Dick
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'
Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'
FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'
Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'
Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."
Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'
Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'
LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.'
ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'
MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
'The subvocal read nerve signals, letting her enter words by just beginning to will them...'
Exploring Oceans Across The Solar System
'Black liquid flashed past the turbotís infrared eyes.'
SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'
Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'
Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.
Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'
Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories