The world of robotics is filled with a lot of intriguing and scary devices. Interestingly enough, engineers are trying to create all kinds of robots that will enhance our society as a whole. Japan appears to be the region where some of the more innovative robots can be found these days, although their use cases may remain somewhat limited for the time being.
6. Baseball-playing Robots
Introducing a robot into the sports industry sounds strange, although this has been done before. In the world of baseball, machines exist which automatically eject balls for players to hit with their bat. The University of Tokyo has upped the ante, however, as their robots seem to be quite formidable. Moreover, the engineers claim their robots are more than capable of both hitting and pitching with incredible accuracy. That said, the device looks like it should be used to assemble a car, rather than throw a baseball.
5. Miimu Models Wedding Dresses
Most women look forward to the moment when they can go shopping for a wedding dress. Although the idea of trying on different models may appeal to most females, Japanese engineers have built a robot that does the work for you. Miimu, as this robot is called, is designed as a “realistic” humanoid machine to model wedding dresses. Based on the image below, it looks rather creepy, though. Then again, there is a specific use case for this type of technology, rather than using traditional mannequins.
4. Mother-Baby Relationship Robot
No idea seems too outrageous for Japanese robotics developers, by the look of things. The robot below, which goes by the name of CB2, is designed to mimic a child robot with a biomimetic body. It is capable of analyzing facial expressions and interactions with humans of all ages. The ultimate goal is to make CB2 mimic a mother-baby relationship, which seems rather odd, given the machine’s size. All information is recorded and evaluated, which allows this four-foot robot to learn new things just like an infant would.
3. Saya The Receptionist
When one first runs into Saya, she can be mistaken for any other receptions working at a Japanese office. That is both a strength and a terrifying trait at the same time. Saya was first developed back in 2004, yet has seen several iterations ever since. Although the robot looks real enough, its capabilities remain somewhat limited for the time being. Saya is capable of expressing six basic emotions, including anger and disgust.
2. ApriAttenda The Housekeeper
Everyone who has a keen interest in robotics will have imagined a future in which we will have human-like robotics who conduct housekeeping tasks on their behalf. ApriAttenda is one meter tall and can extend 30 cm higher if needed. It is capable of opening refrigerator doors, picking up objects, and even make use of household appliances such as a microwave. It is an interesting concept for sure, albeit the aesthetics may need some more work to make it look more appealing.
1. ASIMO By Honda
While most people know Honda as a car manufacturer, the company is actively pursuing other interests as well. Their ASIMO line of robots has been in production for over 20 years and several versions have been released. Its latest form can shake hands with humans, walk, run, and even climb stairs. Standing at four feet and three inches, ASIMO is still one of the smallest robots. Don’t let the size deceive you, though, as Honda has big plans for ASIMO moving forward.
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