The Korean Institue of Industrial Technology’s (KITECH) Service Robot Platform Initiative ran from 2005 to 2009 (though they have continued to demonstrate the robot publicly since then). By 2007 researchers had begun work on the SEROPI-2, which has remained rather obscure up until now, due to few public appearances. The exoskeleton was dramatically redesigned, and featured an additional joint in its arms as well as reduced complexity in its manipulators. The new look is decidedly friendlier in appearance than the last version.
SEROPI-2 is slightly shaved down from the original, measuring 120cm (4′) tall and weighing 45kg (99 lbs). It also reduces the total degrees of freedom from 31 to 26 (two hands x2, two arms x7, waist x2, knee x2, head x2, and mobile base x2). Thanks to its unique “knee”, SEROPI-2 is able to bend down to pick up objects from the floor (something most wheeled service robots cannot do). Like SEROPI-1, it can move at speeds of up to 2 meters per second (7.2 km/h) in order to keep pace with fast moving people. For sensors it has stereo vision, microphones, force sensors, force-torque sensors, a laser range finder, and an inertial navigation system.
SEROPI-2 continued acting alongside humans and other robots in a live stage play, and has recently appeared at the Gwacheon Science Museum. What with the recent rumblings that a remake of Short Circuit is in the works, I think the movie makers should consider using SEROPI-2 as the new model for Johnny 5! As one of the cutest robots around, we hope more media surfaces on it (see a clip of its performance and more photos after the break).
[source: NRHP (KR)]
Video (clip 2):
Video (Gwacheon Science Museum demo):