Waseda University’s Sugano Lab developed Hadaly (named after an android in “L’Ève future”, a 19th century novel famous for popularizing the term android) in 1995 to study human-robot interaction. The goal was to create a symbiotic humanoid robot that could coexist with people. It was able to turn towards a speaking person through a combination of image processing and auditory sensors. It used speech recognition and synthesis to carry on simple conversations, and could communicate non-verbally using simple hand gestures such as pointing. It is called a navigation robot since it used this ability to give campus directions.
In 1997 Hadaly-2 was developed, with improvements such as mobility, continuous speech recognition, and new safety features. A passive impedance joint mechanism was developed and implemented in each joint of Hadaly-2′s arms, giving them a high degree of compliance to external forces. It was also covered in a soft material to help absorb impacts. These features, along with its general environmental awareness using its stereo CCD cameras and auditory sensors, allows Hadaly-2 to work closely with people without injuring them. It could make eye contact with and keep track of people even when making very fast movements, and upon shining a light in its eyes it would squint and look away. It was also capable of finding and lifting colored objects. Hadaly-2 is 170cm (5’6″) tall, weighs 150kg (330 lbs), and has 49 DOF (2 eyes x2, neck x2, body x1, 2 arms x7, 2 hands x13, 2 wheels).
Waseda University Sugano Lab