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Tag Archives: Robot

Therapeutic Robot Helps Kids And The Elderly

By Jonathan Kimak

A while ago my now deceased grandmother had to move into a nursing home. The stress of moving into that place was nearly overwhelming for her and had it not been for our dog Tommy my grandmother might have died within the first month. The companionship between our dog and my grandmother gave her(in my opinion) 4 more good years of life. It also gave her someone to pet and talk to without worrying about what he thought.

It is this sense of companionship that robotics engineers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan focused on during the 12 years spent creating Paro.

Paro is a fur covered robot that resembles a baby seal. Its function is to act as a therapeutic pet in situations where a real pet could not or should not be used. It helps both kids in hospitals and seniors in nursing homes relax and socialize and can really extend their life or at least their enjoyment of life.

Some nursing homes in the US already carry Paro and it’s likely that more will follow.

[ Paro ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Pool Playing Robot Claims It’s An Amateur, Could Be Hustling Us

By Jonathan Kimak

Researchers at Queen’s University have created a robot that can play a decent game of pool, billiards or snooker. Dubbed Deep Green(likely a nod to the chess playing computer Deep Blue) the robot is ceiling mounted and uses a Global Vision System to see all the balls on the pool table. It also has a Local Vision System which detects objects in front of the cue ball so as to better select the right shot.

The robot can produce power from none to 3 m/s for the average shot and up to 12 m/s for the initial breaking shot using a pneumatic break cue actuator.

There have been pool playing robots around since the 1980′s but this one is touted as the best of the best. It is ranked at slightly above amateur status for now but improvements are being made constantly so that eventually the robot could become a true pool shark.

With the name Deep Green it’s clear the designers want it to eventually challenge a true professional in some televised(and sponsored) matches.

[ ] VIA [ Tech Digest ]

Toyota Unveils Winglet Mobility Robot

This post is syndicated with permission from

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced today that it was developing what it calls a Personal Transport Assistance Robot known as Winglet. TMC says that it is still in the process of refining the Winglet and it plans the device to be a small and compact robot that will offer ease of movement and expand a user’s range of mobility.

I can’t tell from that description if it intends the Winglet to be a scooter for the masses to use rather than a car, or if this is one sort of assistance device for those with problems walking like the elderly. At any rate, TMC has created three different Winglet models that only vary in how tall they are. The height difference for the models is from the different length handles used that give riders something to grasp.

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