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Toyota Brings Future to the Present with Kirobo Mini

Space Station-inspired bot aims to keep people company.

by on Oct.04, 2016

Toyota plans to sell the Kirobo Mini, a communications robot, at dealerships in Japan sometime next year.

Looks like the movie iRobot may be coming to life as Toyota announced it plans to sell the “Kirobo Mini” communications partner robot through its car dealerships across Japan next year.

The little robot can actually engage in casual conversation with its owners. The miniature “friend” has the ability to respond to user emotions and will “grow” by remembering user preferences and past events, Toyota notes.

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While the robots in the film provided a variety of services, such as house cleaning, daycare and security, these little guys can go anywhere as they are just about four inches tall. They’re likely to be less expensive than their film cousins too coming in at just under $400 not including taxes. (more…)

GM’s Robo-Glove Could Ease Workload in Space and on Assembly Line

Like wearing a robot hand.

by on Mar.13, 2012

Robo-Glove could significantly reduce repetitive stress disorders on an assembly line - while making it easier to work in space.

It may be rocket science, but General Motors says a new robotic glove it’s developing with NASA has some seriously practical applications down on Earth.

Formally known as the Human Grasp Assist, the system is a spin-off of the Robonaut 2 project, a human-like robot GM helped develop that’s now operating on the International Space Station, or ISS.  Known internally as Robo-Glove, the prototype is intended to make it easier to hold something in your grip longer and more comfortably.

The system could be used by space-walking astronauts as well as workers on the assembly line, says Dana Komin, GM’s manufacturing engineering director, Global Automation Strategy and Execution.

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“When fully developed, the Robo-Glove has the potential to reduce the amount of force that an auto worker would need to exert when operating a tool for an extended time or with repetitive motions,” explains Komin. “In so doing, it is expected to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury.”

(more…)