Robot Expo Korea 2012 attracted more than 20,000 visitors last week in the city of Gwanju. Around 1,600 students from elementary, middle and high schools competed in the 14th International Robot Olympiad. There were robot soccer, dance, and design competitions. In addition a trade fair took place where a total of 47 companies presented their products and technology, including vacuum cleaners, artificial fish, rovers, agricultural robots and educational kits.
To be honest there isn’t much to report, since there were few humanoids on display other than the Robotis DARwIn-OP and Robobuilder kits. However, one new guide robot made an appearance. It was developed by Junsung E&R (a company formed in 2005 that specializes in renewable energy technology), and bears a striking resemblance to a certain Pixar robot character.
Hm… Robots don’t appear to be the company’s strong suit. Not that it matters; South Korea is overflowing with simple guide robots as it is! A selection of photos is tucked after the break.
[source: Robot Expo 2012] via [Gwanju Info (KR)]
Another week, another set of robot videos to watch. First we’ve got a new television commercial airing in Japan featuring seven Vstone Tichnos (humanoid robots developed specifically to promote stores and products). They’re modeling a new line of durable school bags from Nitori, but it’s their Vocaloid singing voices which have caused something of a stir among audiences who are wondering if it is really Hatsune Miku’s voice.
[source: Nitori movie @ YouTube] via [Jcast (JP)]
The Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa recently showcased some of their projects for the media. Included in the presentation was the Sabian humanoid, codeveloped with Waseda University (based on the Wabian). It’s part of “The Robot Companions for Citizens” project, which is one of six research projects competing for a billion euros ($1.2B USD) in funding from the European Union. That’s a huge chunk of change, which will be doled out over the course of the next ten years. Currently the humanoid lacks arms and uses the child-like Robot Cub (iCub) head, which looks slightly bizarre on an adult-sized body.
“The idea is to get robots out of factories where they have shown their worth and to transform them into household machines which can live together with humans,” said Professor Dario, director of the college’s bio-robotics department.