ATR and Vstone formally presented the Robovie-R Ver.3 today, which included two types (if the one on the right looks a bit like ROPID, it’s because it was designed at the same time by Tomotaka Takahashi of ROBO-GARAGE). The communication / service robot is part of an ongoing 4 year project towards the development of technologies for the elderly and challenged. This fall the robot will be used to help guide the elderly in public places such as shopping malls, and subway stations.
The platform was originally developed in November 2004, with a successor named Robovie II used in experiments you may remember from December 2009. The experiments involved the robot guiding shoppers in a grocery store, but the robot had some difficulty getting over bumps in the floor. These and other issues with components used in Robovie-R Ver.2 led to the development of the new robot, which uses a new version of Vstone’s V-Servo.
The Robovie-R Ver.3 stands 108cm (3’6″) tall, weighs 35kg (77 lbs), and has 17 degrees of freedom (eyes x4, neck x3, 2 arms x4, 2 wheels). As previously announced, the Robovie-R Ver.3 has 11 tactile sensors throughout its body. It is equipped with 2 USB cameras for eyes, 2 mono microphones for ears, a speaker for a mouth, and can be equipped with a laser range finder in its base for obstacle detection. It will also communicate with a local network which includes other robots, cameras, and mobile phone services.
ATR and Vstone are taking orders for the robot, which costs 3,990,000 JPY ($43,000 USD) including taxes, which is 1,050,000 JPY ($11,000 USD) cheaper than the previous version. Like the Robovie-R Ver.2, Ver.3 runs on a combination of a Windows PC and a sub CPU designed by Vstone. Motions can be programmed using the same software as Vstone’s hobby robot kits. They expect to sell 30 units this year, and they’ve already received several inquiries. A couple of videos and some photos follow after the break.
Video (Robovie-R Ver.3 introduces itself, guides by the hand):
Vstone/ATR | Robonable