Japan – ICRA 2009 Robotics Conference (4 of 10)

And now some pictures from the main event, my reason for going to Japan. I attended the ICRA 2009 Robotics conference in Kobe, where I presented my Robot Emotional Control project.

At the conference, various booths were set up demonstrating the latest in robot technology.

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This is Paro, the seal robot. It responds to touches, moves its fins, head, and eyebrows, and makes cute sounds. It has an advanced program that changes its “mood” over time depending on how you interact with it. Jumping on top of it probably makes it unhappy, so it may not be as playful. This robot was tested in a nursing home and ended up having a positive therapeutic effect. The elderly responded well to it and enjoyed their time playing with it.

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This is Nao, produced by Aldebaran Robotics. It can walk around, dance, and speak a dozen different languages, though it would hopefully stick to just the one I’m used to when interacting with me.

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Outside the conference centre, a planetary exploration robot competiton was set up. Here, you see a robot navigating the foreign terrain.

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This guy got a bit too pushy. I was taking pictures and it started to roll towards me pushing me towards a wall!

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Even robots like to quench their thirst somehow. This is a robotic hand that can be controlled remotely, duplicating the controller’s hand movements, mostly, once you get used to it. I actually had no problem with the robot taking this green tea. This type in the bottle did not appeal to me at all!

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Here’s a bunch of us posing as we sat together at the banquet. Most of us met at an attendee social event near the beginning. In Japan, it is apparently very common to make the peace sign in pictures.

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In a time of energy conservation, such as that consumed by washing dishes, I really can manage with just one knife, maybe two. I needed two spoons though. One for eating and one for flinging stuff.

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