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• ENON

ENON-headerIn late 2005, Fujitsu unveiled the ENON (Exciting Nova On Network).  ENON improved on the Service Type Robot’s arm mechanisms (from 4 to 5 DOF) while reducing the overall size and weight (to 50kg), and increased safety due to recommendations by the NPO Safety Engineering Research Institute.  LEDs in the eye and mouth region provide a variety of expressions, while other aesthetic enhancements include inviting color schemes (red, lavender blue, and citrus yellow).

Since the head can swivel 360°s, the body has been designed with both the front and back in mind, giving it two different purposes.  One side features a 26cm LCD touchscreen displaying information such as maps.  The other side has a cargo bay that can hold up to 10kg for you while it escorts you to your destination.

Voice synthesis and recognition capabilities allow you to converse with it. These features, along with the ability to patrol a set route, make the ENON a capable guide or security drone.  As its name suggests, it is connected to a network wirelessly allowing users to control it remotely.  For example, you could request that an ENON unit deliver a package from one end of a building to the other, or to investigate an area further.

The ENON is fully autonomous and it will automatically return to its self-charging station when it gets low on juice.  Using preprogrammed maps, it navigates its surroundings and can detect people or obstacles with its 6 cameras, 11 range sensors, and 1 bump sensor.  It can travel at speeds up to 3km/hr.  Multiple units can communicate wirelessly over the network.

Successful field trials were held in public venues in November 2007.   In one example, the ENON was used as an educational guide, and even when it was charging at a station you could take a quiz on what you had learned at the exhibit.   Companies can collect data from these user questionnaires to aid in market research.  The ENON is also used in the lobby of Fujitsu Laboratories, directing people to the nearest washrooms, telephones, drawing room, and more.  The ENON is commercially available, but pricing is subject to individual inquiries (Japanese, English and Korean software is available).

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Image credits:
Fujitsu | Impress Robot Watch | Aving | Akihabara News

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