A household robot that can walk, talk, work independently, take care of human beings and, at the same time, safeguard a household is expected to be produced before the end of this year, making it the first household robot developed by China.
On Apr. 25, a household robot with integrated functions was unveiled at the lab of the Multi Agent Robotics Research Center of the School of Computer Science and Technology under the Harbin Institute of Technology. The robot is 50 centimeters tall and weighs 20 kilos. Though he looks small, he has all the essential human body parts, including a head, the five sense organs, a body and legs.
Professor Hong Bingrong, who is responsible for the household robot project, said that the new robot is installed with an ultrasonic device, various types of sensors and protective devices all over his body. With such equipment the robot can measure distance and identify barriers by himself, avoiding collisions with furniture and human beings and saving himself from physical damage.
CPUs control the robot and help it perform according to a variety of commands. A camera system functions as his eyes, and a pickup and speaker system allows him to identify sound and "talk" to people. The robot also has the ability to carry and operate a cell phone. If his owner is away on business the robot can keep him apprised of family situations.
(Chinanews April 29, 2005)