Robot Technology Helping Humans in Daily Activities (w/ Video)

Mar 11, 2010 by John Messina report
Robot Kompai is specifically designed to help the elderly and disabled with routine daily chores.

(PhysOrg.com) -- A French company called, Robosoft has developed a robot called Kompai that is specifically designed to help the elderly and disabled people. Kompai can navigate autonomously, talk and understand speech. Speech is the primary means of communication; however a touch screen with simple icons can also be used for input commands.

In the below video, an elderly man is shown interacting with the . Using the robots LCD display it only takes a few minutes of training for someone to start using Kompai. The video also demonstrates that the robot can be used for many routine chores that most of us take for granted.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The first generation of the Kompai will officially be introduced next week at the Intercompany Long Term Care Insurance Conference in New Orleans from March 14-17, 2010. Kompai is currently in research and development stage and is intended for developers who would like to implement their own robotics applications for providing services to the elderly and disabled people.

For information about the Intercompany Long Term Care Insurance Conference in New Orleans please visit: www.iltciconf.org/

In other news on Robot Technology is Kojiro, a that mimics the human skeletal system. Kojiro is currently under development at the University of Tokyo’s JSK Robotics Laboratory.

Kojiro is designed to mimic the way the human skeleton, muscles and tendons all work to generate motion. One of Kojiro’s main innovations is the flexible spine. Just as the human spine can bend in different directions, Kojiro’s spine is flexible also allowing it to bend in different directions and twist its torso.

Robot Technology Helping Humans in Daily Activities (w/ Videos)
Robot Kojiro resembles the human skeletal structure.

Kojiro uses lightweight, high-performance DC motors which are only .6 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches long. The high-performance brushless motors can deliver 40 watts of output power. The motors are used to pull cables attached to specific locations on the body. This simulates how human muscles and tendons work. Kojiro has approximately 100 tendon-muscle structures all working together to give the robot more flexibility than could be achieved with motorized rotary joints.

Kojiro seen here bending forward.

Kojiro seen here bending backward.

Since safety was a key concern, researchers built the robot’s body using mostly light and flexible material. Joint angle sensors are also embedded on spherical joints and six axis force sensors on the ankles. This helps keep track of Kijiro’s posture and limb positions. The video below demonstrates Kojiro in action.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Lightweight and flexible material is mainly used for safety concerns.

There is however one main drawback in using a musculoskeletal system and that is controlling the robot's body is difficult. This type of system introduces much nonlinearity that makes it hard to model precisely. The research team can refine Kojiro’s movements only after performing many little tweaks on the control parameters until the robot is capable of handling more complex movements.

The final goal is to integrate control for the head, spine, arms and legs.

Explore further: Human or robot? Hit Swedish TV series explores shrinking divide

Related Stories

iPhone Software That Controls Robot Movements (w/ Video)

Nov 18, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- At the graduate school of media design at Keio University in Tokyo, a project called "Walky" is under developed. Researchers have developed specifically designed software for the iPhone that ...

The art of controlling a robot

Jan 28, 2010

Robots are used in many different areas, for instance in factories, in space and in health care. To plan and control the motions of a robot is a challenging task, which Uwe Mettin from Umeľ University, Sweden, has analyzed ...

Space Robot Can Autonomously Reconfigure Itself

Jun 15, 2009

A robot designed to work in space should ideally be a Jack of all trades, with the ability to perform a wide variety of tasks by itself. By having one robot that can handle many jobs, astronauts can cut down ...

New robot skier takes to the slopes (w/ Video)

Oct 23, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new robot skier has been invented that can be fitted with off-the-shelf skis. This is not the first skiing robot, since Japanese scientists have produced their own (see PhysOrg.com article here), but is bigger and heavie ...

Recommended for you

Telerobotics puts robot power at your fingertips

2 hours ago

At the Smart America Expo in Washington, D.C., in June, scientists showed off cyber-dogs and disaster drones, smart grids and smart healthcare systems, all intended to address some of the most pressing challenges ...

Getting a grip on robotic grasp

Jul 18, 2014

Twisting a screwdriver, removing a bottle cap, and peeling a banana are just a few simple tasks that are tricky to pull off single-handedly. Now a new wrist-mounted robot can provide a helping hand—or rather, ...

JIBO robot could become part of the family

Jul 17, 2014

JIBO, measuring at about 11 inches tall and weighing approximately 6 pounds, is a robotic device designed for people to use as a companion and helper at home. , The team behind JIBO aims to bring it to market ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Buyck
not rated yet Mar 13, 2010
A society with robots is coming closer every day. It will help lonely people or older people, entertainment and so on...