robotic standards


image: Ivonne Carlo

The battle of robot standards

Michael Kanellos NewsBlog 26 Oct. 2007

” … The “humanoid or notdebate continues to rage, and companies still question whether the strongest market for robots will be with consumers or industrial customers.

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“The human or machine debate, meanwhile, was thought to be settled a few years ago when Sony killed off its Aibo and Honda owned up to slow sales for the Asimo. People were buying iRobots at the same time. The general conclusion was that the future lay in producing functional robots, rather than entertainment devices, and machines with personality be dammed.

“Entertainment robots, however, suffered from two problems. The robots didn’t come with a back story to make them interesting, said David Hanson, founder of Hanson Robotics. To that end, Hanson will come out in 2009 with Zeno, a robot boy that responds to questions and interacts with people. He’s supposed to be from a robot camp in the future and kids will teach him about life on Earth.

“The responses are less scripted than in previous humanoid robots, which should make it more engaging. Also, Zeno will cost only $300. Hanson is working with Massive Software, the guys out of New Zealand who did the artificial intelligence for the imaginary characters for the Lord of the Rings movies.

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“On the other hand, you have Willow Robotics, the new robot start-up making household robots. Company representatives said they don’t care about human characteristics. The thing is made to pick stuff up. Most companies, such as Israel’s Galileo, are in the non-humanoid camp.”

Source: Michael Kanellos NewsBlog c/

Photo source: Ivonne Carlo

Newcomb’s commentary: “I am a man: I hold that nothing human is alien to me.” Terence


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