February 25, 2011 weblog
The Meka Robotics' M1: A customizable human-like bot at $340,000
(PhysOrg.com) -- San Francisco-based company Meka has introduced the Meka Robotics' M1. The Meka Robotics' M1 is a mobile robot that features a pair of dextrous arms with what is known as compliant force-control (a set of sensors that measure how much force is being used for each task, in order to keep the robot from breaking items or hurting humans) and some modified Microsoft Kinect sensors.
The Meka Robotics' M1 has a human like appearance. It has a head with two eyes and an adjustable torso that allows it to go between the height of an average sitting human and an average standing human. The M1 does not, however know how to walk like a man. It has bypassed the idea of bipedal locomotion in favor of a motorized wheel base. That does limit its mobility, but unlike walking robots, like Asimo, it does not spend a lot of time and processing power on walking that can be better used on tasks.
The choice of using modified Microsoft Kinect sensors allows the robot to see the world in some semblance of 3D, which is important if the robot wants to be able to act in the real world, which is the goal of these bots, human-like action.
These robots are expected to retail for about $340,000 for a user-customizable design, which means that you will not likely see them at the corner store, but when they are ordered the customer will get exactly what they need from the bot. The market for these bots in expected to be universities and in-house research facilities.
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