Industrial design students at Taiwan’s National Yunlin University of Science and Technology (YunTech) won a 2010 National Robotics Competition for their social robot concepts. Professor Yang Jing had eight groups of students working on intelligent robot concepts over the course of six months, combining their expertise in CAD and model-making.
Wei Yuan and Chen Yiqun won first place and took home approximately $18,000 USD in prize money for MoRi, a communication robot designed to accompany the elderly. Make video calls, play music, or watch movies through its simple interface. The robot could also be used to track health, such as blood pressure, by transmitting that information to doctors over the internet.
Students Zhouzi Xiang and Yun Lai from the same class were runner-ups for their unique robotic chair concept Hug Touch. It helps an elderly person when sitting down and standing up and can adjust to fully recline. It can be used to fetch emails and voice mail messages.
The third and most fanciful concept was inspired by hardworking bees, designed by Zhangzhe Rong and Huang Hongwei. Hi-Bee is a flying robot that would provide video surveillance, audio-visual messages such as reminders, and other communication features. Rather than wings, it probably should be propeller-based if quadcopters are any indication. More photos of the robot mock-ups can be seen after the break.