On September 10th 2009, AIST and JST gave a small presentation of a new rehabilitation robot called Taizo. Covered in a soft, fluffy exterior, the humanoid robot serves as a gymnastics instructor for the elderly. Already Taizo has appeared in 5 test runs at group homes and community centers. The novelty of exercising with Taizo is expected to promote healthy living among seniors, who have fun participating with the somewhat clumsy robot.
Taizo stands 70 cm (2’3″) tall, weighs 6.5 kg (14.3 lbs) and has 26 DOF (2 legs x 6, 2 arms x 5, waist, neck x 2). Taizo uses proprietary servo motors created by General Robotix called GRSVM, which have a torque rating of78.2 kg/cm and speed of 0.24sec/60deg. Its ability to turn at the waist allows it to perform about 30 exercises even when seated in a chair. Taizo can be controlled with an IR remote control, and uses Julius, an open source speech recognition software, for limited verbal communication.
Taizo is expected to be ready for commercialization in 2010, and a cheaper simplified version with only 22 DOF is under development. In the future, the creators hope that Taizo will help promote fitness to people of all ages. Video and media after the break.
[source: Impress Robot Watch]