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Friday, March 17, 2006

RI-MAN a seeing, hearing and smelling robot

A Japanese-led research team Riken had made a seeing, hearing and smelling robot that can carry human beings, this five-foot RI-MAN humanoid can carry a doll weighing 12 kilograms and within five years it will be able to carry 70 kilograms.

"We're hoping that through future study it will eventually be able to care for elderly people or work in rehabilitation," said Toshiharu Mukai, one of the research team leaders.

RI-MAN is equipped with sensors that show it a body's weight and position, this 220-pound robot can also distinguish eight different kinds of smells, can tell which direction a voice is coming from and uses powers of sight to follow a human face.

"In the future, we would like to develop a capacity to detect a human's health condition through his breath," Mukai said.

Japan is bracing for a major increase in needs for elderly care due to a declining birth rate and a population that is among the world's longest living.


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