The Fujitsu Research Institute has developed a therapeutic robot teddy bear that can recognize and respond to facial expressions and behavior which it plans to sell to hospitals and schools. The robot’s name hasn’t yet been released, as it will be officially demonstrated this week at an exhibition in Tokyo. The bear has been in development for years, but it will likely raise eyebrows at the MIT Media Lab, which developed a similar robot bear called Huggable (unveiled in 2008).
The robot’s nose is actually a camera, which recognizes individuals and motions such as waving, and its body and head contain touch sensors so it knows when it is being held or patted. The bear can respond by giggling, crying, and swinging its hands and feet, along with 300 preloaded actions such as falling asleep and snoring. AIST’s robotic seal Paro may finally have some serious competition, though it was recently revealed that despite strong international sales the robot has barely broken even due to its long and costly development. A couple videos and more photos follow after the break.
[source: AFP (JP)]