Fujitsu’s stuffed teddy bear robot is being demonstrated at Fujitsu Forum 2010. The robot is being aimed at two ends of the age spectrum; from retirement homes, elder care facilities, and hospitals, to early childhood education centers. The robot’s repertoire of 300 responses to external stimuli are expected to alleviate loneliness where live pets aren’t allowed. For example, the robot’s camera (placed inconspicuously in the bear’s nose) can detect when someone is waving in front of it, and the robot will return the gesture.
The bear has 12 degrees of freedom, allowing it to move both arms and legs as well as tilt its head and move its eye brows and ears. A total of 8 touch sensors are located throughout its body allowing it to react to being petted, and 2 sensors in its arms detect when someone is shaking its hands. Gyroscopes and accelerometers detect when the bear is being moved around. Fujitsu has been testing it at several medical institutions, and it seems commercialization is going to be a little ways off as the face recognition isn’t working as reliably as they want.