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• Bonobo

BONOBO-headerTechnovision is a Korean company specializing in security systems and video conferencing, and have developed robots as part of their overall vision of home automation systems. Beginning in 2003, they developed a small radio-controlled humanoid robot, and by 2005 they had completed a prototype service robot called Bonobo.  After 2010, it appears Technovision’s website has gone down.

The name derives from a distinct species of Chimpanzee from the Congo, which are the most like humans. They constantly vocalize ”as though they are conversing” and often walk upright. If you are at all interested in the Great Apes, the Bonobo is one of the most fascinating species to look into.

While there is little information concerning Bonobo available, we do know that it was 90cm (3′) tall.  It was developed with the cooperation of Seoul National University and the CMS Institute of Technology, and designed entirely using 3D CAD.  The exoskeleton shells were printed using rapid prototyping. This allowed them to create plastic copies of the exoskeleton (which looks remarkably similar to that of SONY’s QRIO) quickly and cheaply. (Video follows after the break…)

The video illustrates some of its functions, such as the ability to perform dexterous movements and playback speech. The video also shows some of the envisioned uses for such a robot, and there’s a brief clip of it walking.

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