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Plastic Pals 2009: Year in Review

Plastic Pals began in mid July 2009 and is slowly gaining ground thanks to readers like you!  As 2009 comes to a close, I thought we should look back at some of the year’s robot-related headlines.  Say what you will of 2009, it certainly didn’t disappoint when it comes to robots!

In the USA, MIT and Audi teamed up to create AIDA, a robotic agent that sits in the dashboard of your car.  Intuitive Automata unveiled the commercial version of their robotic weight-loss coach, Autom.  Iowa State University created their own humanoid robot.  Georgia Tech’s Socially Intelligent Machines Lab built a cute humanoid called Simon.  Carnegie Mellon conquered the munchies with Snackbot.

In Japan, Nissan put on a cute show of their collision-avoidance robots, EPORO.  Fujitsu redesigned their service robot ENON.  Panasonic and ROBO-GARAGE set a new world record at Le Mans with their Evolta robot.  ROBO-GARAGE later demonstrated a cute jumping robot called ROPID.  AIST developed the HRP-2m Next for researchers that doubles as Taizo, to promote fitness.  Their female android HRP-4C made headlines around the world for appearing at fashion shows, wearing a wedding dress, and singing.  Murata Manufacturing unveiled a new and improved version of their unicycling robot, Murata Seiko-chan.  Riken’s new and improved nursing aid robot RIBA lifted our spirits.  Toyota published amusing concept renderings of a robot moon mission by 2020.  Kobe built a statue commemorating Tetsujin 28, and Gundam celebrated its 30th Anniversary with its own monument.

In South Korea, KITECH’s EveR-3 acted in a variety of stage plays.  KAIST’s HUBO 2 became the world’s third full-sized bipedal humanoid robot capable of running.  Korea’s plans to build a humongous monument to Taekwon V shocked the world.

In China, the Beijing Institute of Technology took the wraps off their latest Beijing Humanoid Robots, which performed taichi.

In Taiwan, NTUST’s humanoid robots Adam and Janet kissed in front of the whole world.

Several new hobby robots and add-ons were unveiled. Kondo finally revealed the KHR-3HV. Vstone fought back with the entry-level Robovie-nano, and the high-end Robovie-PC, and licensed Agilingua’s speech recognition / synthesis software. Crafthouse began selling its miniature robot hand accessories, the GOD-HAND and Melissa Hand Type 1. Fuji Soft Inc. threw their hat in the ring with a new humanoid robot aimed at universities.  Takeshi Maeda stunned the world with his transforming OmniZero.9.

2010, a year dreamed about by many  for years, is nearly upon us.
One can only imagine what robots will be unveiled in the new year.
Asimo 3.0? New Toyota Partner Robots? Who can say?

  • luke

    munich machine?! nice…