Pirkus-R Fails to Impress

Pirkus-R at Robot-OneAs I predicted last Friday, the coverage by Robots-Dreams.com of the Robo-One competition that took place in Tokyo over the weekend has been nothing short of outstanding. Lem dropped us a comment this morning to let us know that he actually got some face time (pun intended) with the Pirkus-R Type-01 robot, the Bluetooth humanoid whose facial recognition upgrade we reported on late last week. In addition to going one on one with the bot in the controlled environment of the exhibitors area, he also has posted a video of Pirkus-R attempting to do its thing under the more extreme conditions of the competition ring.

According to Lem, the Pirkus-R’s facial recognition software worked pretty well in the evenly lit and less chaotic exhibitors hall. The video of the robot in action in the ring appears to be a different story entirely. In addition to falling over repeatedly, the string of question marks that repeatedly flash on the Pirkus-R’s chest display seem to indicate that it never does recognize its scantily-dressed female handler. Though towards the end of the video it does respond to the young woman’s outstretched hand by punching at.

I must admit that until last week’s news about the upgrade of the Pirkus-R’s facial recognition software I had not heard of this robot. So I may be mistaken, but I thought what made the KDDI-developed software upgrade newsworthy was that it specifically targeted performance issues in real world settings where lighting was unpredictable and often less than optimal. The video leads me to believe the Pirkus-R’s recognition abilities still need quite a bit of work.

Interestingly, Lem postulates that I Bee and KDDI anticipated a less than stellar performance and tried to distract us with a new, cute exterior for the robot and pair of pretty, young sidekicks, one in a short silver dress that … wait, what was I talking about again?

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