After the Albert Hubo article and picture, I’m somewhat relieved to report that the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Intelligent Robot task force has unveiled a robot at the APEC forum in Busan, Korea today that doesn’t completely creep me out. The T-Rot, whose name is short for thinking robot, is spending its time at the forum tending bar, taking orders and making conversation with the attending world leaders in the Robot Café.
Developed as part of Korea’s Intelligent Service Robot Project, the T-Rot’s primary function will be as a service robot for the elderly and disabled. Its has two cameras that provide its vision and is able to both recognize people and other objects as well as their spatial positions and orientation. These advanced visual abilities combined with a unique, synthetic skin that gives it the ability to recognize the texture and weight of objects, allow the T-Rot to pick up eggs without breaking them, realistically shake hands, handle bottles and cans, and pour drinks. It is also able to understand speech and can carry on conversations.
The ministry predicts that robots based on the T-Rot will begin assisting the elderly within the next few years.