Yujin Robot’s drink serving robot “Cafero”, is taking and delivering orders from customers at the Robot Cafe located in Songdo U-city, South Korea. The city is part of Incheon Free Economic Zone, an area designed to provide information on the city’s cutting-edge ubiquitous industry and opportunities for citizens to experience it firsthand.
[source: Yonhap News]
Mitsubishi’s Wakamaru turned out to help celebrate the Osaka Tenjin Festival on July 25th 2009, a tradition which dates back at least 1000 years. One of the three largest festivals in Japan, it attracts more than a million visitors annually. One of the processions is called Funatogyo, a procession of about 100 boats transporting Shinto deities along the Dojimagawa River. Osaka University has participated in the festival for the last five years, but this is the first year to include a robot on the Handai boat.
Wakamaru appeared before an audience of 200 people, dressed in the attire of the Heian period (794-1185) omukae ningyo (welcome dolls) placed onboard to greet the floating Shinto shrines as they pass by. Incidentally this is the same style of dress that would have suited Minamoto Yoshitsune (“Ushiwakamaru”, Wakamaru’s namesake). The tradition of placing welcome dolls on the prow of boats carrying shrine parishioners gradually died out after World War II.
Wakamaru’s performance breathes new life into the tradition for the 21st century. Engineers at Osaka University added the motions of the Osaka-jime, the festival’s customary rallying call and clap, to the robot’s repertoire of morning exercise routines prior to the event. Associate Professor Koizumi commented that,”Typically outdoor performances are tricky, but everything turned out ok.”
[source: Robonable] and [Yomiuri] via [Pink Tentacle]
This insane animation reminiscent of Heavy Metal and Yellow Submarine is called “BIRDY NAM NAM – THE PARACHUTE ENDING”. I don’t know what’s going on, but I do know I like it, and this Steve Scott fellow is insanely talented.
[source: Steve Scott] via [Reddit]
On June 18th 2009, KAIST’s Human-friendly Welfare Robot System Research Center donated Human-friendly Welfare Robots to the National Rehab clinic. These include robotic wheelchairs and beds, as well as other assistive technology for the old and infirm. The very friendly-looking little robot below appears to be a new model of the Steward robot “Joy”, which was developed as part of an automated bedroom that featured voice activated appliances.
The director at National Rehab made a statement in support of robots at the donation ceremony. “The Welfare Robot donation continues our research and development of rehab assistive technology, which will lead to the improvement in the level of the rehabilitation of patients, and is expected to contribute to the rehabilitation industry,” he said.