TMSUK has developed a variety of robots for security purposes, but none of them are quite like these. Co-developed with Sanyo and Omron in March of 2002, the Banryu (lit. Guard Dragon) T7S-Type 1 and T7S-Type 2 were quadrupedal home security bots that came in two distinct designs: Stegosaurus and Triceratops. One type walked quietly with a stable posture, while the other walked dynamically thanks to the expertise of Waseda University’s Takanishi Laboratory. “Why dinosaurs?” one might ask. In the preceding years SONY had established household pet robots with their AIBO line-up. As is the case today, it was unclear what direction home robots might take, but exotic pets were certainly a possibility.
Called “Personal Mechatronic Devices”, they could be controlled via cellphone or through voice commands like ‘go ahead’ or ‘turn left’. Each dino came equipped with cameras peeking out of its snout to take snapshots of would-be home intruders as they fled the scene in a dino-induced panic. The latex skin coverings weren’t terribly realistic, but they also came in a more robotic shell. They certainly weren’t the most practical things with their slow, lumbering gait of only 3 meters a minute, not to mention the ridiculously high price tag ($18,840 USD). Of course, these issues weren’t a concern as TMSUK had pretty much cornered the robotic dinosaur security guard market. Customers who couldn’t afford to outright purchase one could rent them for a lesser fee. A lack of competition however, didn’t stop them from developing newer versions.
The two models of TMSUK’s Banryu T72S
In November that same year, a new model of the “utility robot” was created. The T72S had a sleek metallic look that managed to say “dinosaur” without getting specific about the details. It came in two models distinguished by slightly different head designs and color, and were only available to 50 people as a trial run. These too were controlled via cellphone and voice commands, but had increased walking speed (a frisky 15 meters a minute). They also had an autonomous mode, which allowed it to patrol your house on its own, using its array of infrared, sonic, and temperature sensors to detect anything unusual. It could also negotiate obstacles up to 10cm tall. It featured an ‘odor sensor’, developed by Kanazawa Institute of Technology and New Cosmos Electric Co. Ltd., which could probably detect carbon monoxide and dioxide.
More photos and some video clips of the robots in action follow after the break.
Impress Robot Watch | TMSUK | Generation5