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• Eliza

The Beijing Institute of Technology’s Intelligent Robotics Research lab and the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation worked together on a service robot named Eliza (“艾丽莎”).  The robot served as a general guide at the Guangzhou Asian Games 2010 Experience Center, and has made appearances at shopping malls since then.

Eliza uses speech recognition and speech synthesis to welcome shoppers or hold simple conversations with people using natural spoken language in Chinese.  For example, some children ran up to the robot and immediately began asking questions – “What is your name?  I like to eat fruit!” to which it responded, “My name is Eliza and I come from Beijing.  Robots can’t eat fruit, but I like apples.”

The robot stands 150cm (5′) tall and weighs 50kg (110 lbs) with 4 degrees of freedom per arm and 2 in its neck.  It has big eyes, and its eyelids and mouth can open and close, giving it a cartoon-like appearance.  It moves at speeds up to 1 meter per second on its 2 wheels, and can move forward, backward, and turn.  It is controlled remotely over a wireless connection.  It comes equipped with 10 infrared sensors for simple obstacle avoidance and safety, and its batteries last approximately 2 hours.

Previously, researchers at these institutes had worked together on the BHR-2 full-size humanoid.  Check out the movies of Eliza in action after the break, and you can see from the photos that the shape of the head went through some minor modifications.

[source: King Robot (CN)] via [51RobotShow, Sina, GZDaily (CN)]

Video (Eliza dances in concert):

Video (Eliza in concert clip 2):

Video (original Eliza):

Video (quartet dance):

Video (news report):


Image credit:
Beijing Institute of Technology News | Qingyuan People