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Kibo 3 Unveiled at Korea’s Robot World 2011

South Korea’s Robot World 2011 runs from the 27th~30th, and while many familiar robots are making appearances, the most notable is undoubtedly the new version of Kibo.  The original Kibo and version 2 were shown in 2005 and 2007 respectively, so altogether there has been around 7-8 years of research and development.  The Kibo robots are easily identified thanks to their expressive faces (complete with moving eyes, eyelids, and lips), which most other small robots do not have.  It looks like a fantastic platform, so hopefully it will be used for some interesting research.  I’d like to see a robot like this with the kind of social skills of MIT’s robots.

Kibo 3 is much larger, and combines the face from one of its siblings (known as SIL-BOT) with an entirely new bipedal humanoid body.  It walked on stage holding a bouquet of flowers, made faces at the crowd, and hugged the Minister of Knowledge Economy as part of the opening celebrations.  The robot’s creator, Dr. Munsang Kim, stated that while some of Korea’s robots have focused on walking and climbing to catch up with Honda’s ASIMO, Kibo 3 will test how people react to the robot’s appearance and expressions.  While they still have their work cut out for them, the goal is to develop a robot that can communicate seamlessly with a human.

It stands 120cm tall (4′ tall, just 10 inches shorter than ASIMO) and weighs 48kg (105 lbs), with 43 degrees of freedom in its body and face.  It has ultrasonic range finders around its belly, navigates using ceiling-mounted cameras, and reportedly has interactive voice recognition capabilities.  KIST’s Center for Intelligent Robotics is also showing off the EngKey (English tutoring robot).

This year’s RoboCup champions, CHARLI-L and the DARwIn-OP, were also being presented by Dr. Dennis Hong of Virginia Tech’s Robotics and Mechanisms Lab (RoMeLa).  Born and raised in Korea, he represents the new wave of Korean-American partnerships in robotics.  The other half being Dr. Paul Oh, who is working with KAIST’s full-sized bipedal humanoid HUBO 2 at Drexel University.  Other robots sold by Robotis, Aldebaran Robotics’ NAO, and service robots from Robotech and ED Corporation are also being demonstrated.

Don’t miss the videos and photos after the break!

[sources: Donga Science, HelloDD (KR)]

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Image credit:
KBS News | Robot World 2011 @ Facebook