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Whatever Happened To Hanulkid’s Robots?

The South Korean robotics company Hanulkid (aka Grandport aka Accross) has robots listed on their website, but strangely they haven’t seen much action.  Their primary business is a Lego-like educational kit called I-ROBO, but they’ve developed a vacuum cleaner, service robots, and more through collaborations with KITECH and ETRI.

Back in 2007 they were showing off a cute miniature humanoid called REO-I.  It was only 23cm (9″) tall and weighed 800g (1.7 lbs), but it had 20 degrees of freedom and came equipped with an ARM11 600MHz CPU and a camera.  Despite making appearances at trade shows the REO-I never made it passed the prototype stage.

Their edutainment robot, VO-NI, was first shown in 2006.  It was meant to be an elementary school teacher’s aide, so it was pretty short at 110cm (3’7″) tall and weighed 50kg (110 lbs).  Stereo vision and microphones allowed for rudimentary face and voice recognition.  It had a pan/tilt neck, and each arm had 5 degrees of freedom with a 9 degree of freedom hand (3 fingers x3).  Its 14″ touch screen display and 120″ projector allowed for multimedia educational content.  Supposedly they had developed more than 40 hours worth of English training (double that of the mandated curriculum) and other stuff like photo editing and health education applications.  It also had a laser range finder and various other sensors for obstacle detection which allowed it to move at a top speed of 0.5 meters per second without bumping into things.

They also developed a guide robot called DOWRI that was 150cm (5′) tall (170cm [5’6″] including its digital sign) and weighed 70kg (154 lbs).  It had a pan/tilt neck, but had simplified arms compared to VO-NI with only 4 degrees of freedom each.  Its built-in 14″ touch screen could display maps or other information, which it could read using a text-to-speech synthesizer.  It had a similar sensor suite to VO-NI, but could move faster (up to 1 meter per second) and could self-charge at a docking station.

Like other general service robots, the marketing suggests DOWRI could guide visitors in schools, museums, art galleries, offices, banks, and other public venues, but it doesn’t appear to have been successfully commercialized.

[source: Accross (KR)] via [ShopOpen, Aving, NewsYeogie, EETimes (KR)]


Image credit:
Aving | Impress Robot Watch | Robotdreams @ Flickr

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