Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Asimov 0.98: The carrying robot

The time has come to make this
  [vote for,

This robot is more for the show, than for solving a real need. But once its out, it will open the era of new robots.

The main feature is that it looks and walks like a human, or at least like a stick figure. So it has a head, two legs and two hands, in approximately human proportions.

It runs by understanding voice commands, but also via a remote. It has only a few commands: Turn right/left, Go forward/backward. Put down. Pick up. And STOP.

It has a voice reco interface, which you can teach to understand the simple set of commands. It can also be controlled with a remote control.

It keeps balance, using "feelers" in its feet assisted with binocular front and rear cameras.

It has a set of standard messages that it can learn to say.

Sells for $5000 although it barely does more than a supermarket wagon (except that it goes up stairs and can come home with you). At first it will be seen only in the rich areas. But later on, when prices plummet, will be bought by museums and theme parks, and by disabled people (improved versions could even carry them around).

- I remember about 15 years ago when my wife and I watched a man in an expensive suit get out of his expensive car, took out his expensive mobile phone and jot down the supermarket list which apparently his wife was reading to him. "Tuna? How many?" We thought it was hilarious. Then found ourselves a few years later doing exactly the same thing.

Within just a short time, the real kitchen aid robots will be available, helping you see or reach for items on the top shelf with their telescopic hands and eyes, but still preserving some sort of "human" look. Also garage aids that can get under the car, and use a screwdriver and hammer.

Summary: This idea is about a simple robot that does very little, as long as it looks like a human, its a product that will sell well.

pashute, Nov 10 2011

It's even named ASIMO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASIMO
Honda's bot. [RayfordSteele, Nov 10 2011]


       Asimoes are alarmingly expensive.   

       On the other hand, this would make them something of a status symbol.   

       If an Asimo can keep pace with a human, it would be simplest for it to walk three paces behind, watching your footsteps as a guide to where to place its own feet.   

       Battery life would be an issue, though, and it would be embarrassing if your 300kg robot simply stopped dead in the middle of the pavement. I guess to save your blushes you could just turn around and say "Stay!" before walking away.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 10 2011

       The low battery detector could trigger a "leap" mode where it springs forward, wraps its arms round your neck and its legs round your waist and won't let go until you plug it into its charger.
pocmloc, Nov 10 2011

       Or, equally, it could not.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 10 2011

       There's an ape for that.
FlyingToaster, Nov 10 2011

       I have a perfectly functional robot, for a few hundred dollars. It vacuums my floors a few times a week.   

       I design another that handles biological samples for testing.   

       The term you are looking for is android, not robot, but other than as show pieces, they are not especially likely in the near future. Robots tend to be fairly purpose built machines. The human form, on the other hand, is reasonably good for high flexibility, multifunction operation. While natural language programming is getting surprisingly good, we're still a long way from turning that into something that can program itself to do a task based on generic verbal instructions.
MechE, Nov 10 2011

       // //There's an ape for that.// [Marked-for- Tagline]//   

MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 10 2011

       //a "leap" mode where it springs forward, wraps its arms round your neck//   

       Made me laugh out loud. Thanks [pocmloc].
AusCan531, Nov 11 2011

       Asimo is too complex. Something MUCH simpler, like a redesigned UNH biped walker. It has to look like a stick figure, NOT an android.   

       Although "The Shadow Biped" robot project makes me worry that the legs must be bulky - similar to human legs - so they'll need to be covered. I'm still quite sure that something linear and more "mechanic" can be done.
pashute, Dec 18 2011


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