Robotech. No, not the bastardized version of Macross that aired on American television before anime became wildly popular. The Robotech I’m referring to is a leading South Korean company specializing in (what else?) robots. They’ve developed a series of service robots that help visitors at the Kimpo Int’l Airport, the Seoul railway station and the Busan post office from at least October 2006 to March 2007. There are several generations of these URCs (ubiquitous robot companions), but they all serve the same general purposes.
The PGR can guide visitors to their destination, give you the departure / arrival time for an airplane or train with voice and pictures, display news and weather through the internet server, and can search the postal code number through voice recognition and print the number on the label for you. Of course, the PGR is great at entertaining people with its quizzes and games, and can even sing and dance a children’s song.
The PGR3 (the latest generation) is 130cm tall, weighs 80kg, and can travel at 70cm/sec on its wheeled base. It has 5 ultrasonic sensors for localization, another 8 ultrasonic sensors for obstacle detection, 2 bump sensors, an IR scanner, and cameras. A 12 inch LCD touch screen allows you to interact with it. As you might expect, remote operation is also possible, allowing an operator to monitor the view of the robot and move it to a specific destination.
This model of the PGR has also been called NUBO, the Nuclear PR Robot, to promote nuclear power. Lastly, in a decidedly unsettling move the designers at Robotech have outfitted the PGR with a body fat sensor which can determine health statistics for you or, in the event of Future Human Enslavement, sort out the workers from the trash.
Aving News Network