Robots at your service

An electronic butler to cater to your every whim

Published: Sunday 31 October 1999

-- imagine a robot that recognises and understands you and carries out every command of yours. nec, a Japanese company, says that its new robot, r100, can process spoken commands. Says Aston Bridgeman, a nec spokesperson: "The robot is more of a prototype for interaction and communication.

Till recently, home robots could only execute household cleaning tasks. But the new robot can do much more. "Domestic robots in the future will not only vacuum the carpet or take out the rubbish, they will have the ability to communicate with their owners, understand commands and recognise objects," says Bridgeman.

While other robots are equipped with mechanical tools, this robot is fitted with a battery of lenses around its body. The r100 also has two eye-like cameras on its head through which it can recognise up to 10 different faces. Besides this, it has a built-in camera which enables it to record a message from one person, and replays that message only to the person for whom it is intended. The r100 can speak around 300 stock phrases.

The robot was designed to be "cute", says the nec. The robot can doze off and talk in its sleep. It will also dance when music is played. The robot is due to go on sale in Japan in 2001.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.