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Taipei Int’l Robot Show 2012

The Taipei International Robot Show (TIROS) 2012 runs from August 29th~31st this week, where 450 exhibitors from around the world are demonstrating their latest technology products and projects.  Visitors can check out the latest automated guided vehicles, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, and hobby kits dancing in traditional dress, to name just a few.

In recent years Taiwan has been investing in factory automation robots and is gradually moving towards the research and development of service robots.  Following the lead of other countries in Asia and Europe, Taiwanese experts believe that Taiwan’s aging population will need the added support.

However it is HugBot, a friendly polar bear, which has quickly become the star of the show.   Made by Taiwanese company UrRobot, the robot hugs you for five to six seconds to measure your pulse. It is equipped with a microphone to detect when you are ready before opening its arms to wait for your embrace.  The company says it could find a place in elementary schools, amusement parks, and children’s hospitals.

Around fourteen examples from Taiwan have been grouped together as examples of the nation’s prowess. One of these, from researchers at National Formosa University, is the Super Black Mamba, a biomimetic robot which imitates the smooth motion of a snake.Next year researchers will begin testing surgical robots for the first time, which are less invasive and thus shorten recovery time.  A few more photos and a video follow after the break.

[sources: HiNet, Lihpao, (CN)]

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