The Beginning of The Age of Robots: Engineers at University of Zurich Artificial Intelligence Lab Will Build a ‘Roboy’ To Debut in March 2013

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2253652/Roboy-robot-boy-set-born-months-help-humans-everyday-tasks.html

Roboy, the robotic ‘boy’ set to help humans with everyday tasks (and scientists hope to build him in just nine months)

  • 1.2m tall humanoid robot designed to help people with everyday tasks
  • Uses artificial muscles to move, and is covered with a soft skin
  • Hoped it could lead to helper robots that allow the sick and elderly to retain their independence

PUBLISHED: 06:42 EST, 27 December 2012 | UPDATED: 10:33 EST, 27 December 2012

Scientists have revealed an ambitious plan to create a humanoid helper robot with artificial muscles – in just nine months.

Engineers at the University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence Lab hope that 1.2m tall Roboy, designed to look like a child, will eventually help the sick and elderly by acting as a mechanical helper.

To help the robot move, the team are developing radical artificial ‘tendons’.

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An artist's impression of how Roboboy could look. Scientists plan to spend nine months creating him, and hope he could become an automated helper for the sick and elderlyAn artist’s impression of how Roboy could look. Scientists plan to spend nine months creating him, and hope he could become an automated helper for the sick and elderly
Robot boy roboy
Robot boy roboy

Roboy will have a skeleton similar to a human’s and will be operated via special artificial tendons that flex like out own muscles.

The team has already signed up 15 project partners and over 40 engineers, and hope to fund the project using a combination of commercial partners and crowdfunding.

‘Financing the project  through sponsorship and crowd funding enables us to implement an extremely ambitious project in an academic environment”, said Professor Rolf Pfeifer, wh is leading the project.

The team hope Roboy will become a blueprint for ‘service robots’ that work alongside humans.

‘Service robots are machines that are, to a certain extent, able to execute services independently
for the convenience of human beings,’ the researchers say.

‘Since they share their ‘living space’ with people, userfriendliness and safety are of great importance’.

The project will use artificial tendons.

‘Thanks to his construction as a tendon-driven robot modelled on human beings (‘normal’ robots have their motors in their joints), Roboy moves almost as elegantly as a human,’ the team claim.

‘Our aging population is making it necessary to keep older people as autonomous as possible for as long as possible, which means caring for aged people is likely to be an important area for the deployment of service robots.

‘We can very safely assume that service robots will become part of our environment in the future, as is already the case today for technologies such as smartphones and laptops.’

The team is already developing parts of the Roboy, such as its skeleton like chest which houses spring-like artificial tendonsThe team is already developing parts of the Roboy, such as its skeleton like chest which houses spring-like artificial tendons
Work has also begun on Roboy's hands, which will be covered with a soft 'skin' to make it comfortable to the touchWork has also begun on Roboy’s hands, which will be covered with a soft ‘skin’ to make it comfortable to the touch’Creating humanoid robots presents researchers with great challenges,’ the researchers say.

‘Elements such as quick, smooth movements or robust, flexible yet soft skin are difficult to recreate.

‘Fundamental new findings are needed for this purpose.

It is precisely through projects like Roboy that innovation is possible.’

Roby is expected to be ‘born’ in March 2013, when it will be unveiled at the Robots on Tour event in Zurich.

The lab is seeking donations to fund the work,and is offering to put a logo on the machine for
£34,000 ($55,000).

The team is even considering a tricycle for Roboy so it can carry heavy objects more easilyThe team is even considering a tricycle for Roboy so it can carry heavy objects more easily
The team carried out a poll on Facebook to decide on the robot's face, and plan to let internet users choose other aspects of his appearanceThe team carried out a poll on Facebook to decide on the robot’s face, and plan to let internet users choose other aspects of his appearance
The project will bring together dozens of different disciplines in a bid to create a true 'robot boy' in just nine monthsThe project will bring together dozens of different disciplines in a bid to create a true ‘robot boy’ in just nine months
The engineers behind Robot boy roboy with several of their prototypesThe engineers behind Robot boy roboy with several of their prototypes

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2253652/Roboy-robot-boy-set-born-months-help-humans-everyday-tasks.html#ixzz2GPmfZnxE

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Posted on December 29, 2012, in Health / Medicine, Science / Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on sheetalkurkule and commented:
    Hope it would be affordable and made available even in developing countries like India too…maintenance shouldn’t pinch the pockets…irony is that although there are ‘n’ number of potential end users here it would only remain a dream for people (commoners) in India. It’s like if Basic Healthcare facilities are available then consider yourself lucky and don’t expect advanced technologies for care of elderly patients…

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