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AI & Robots

A - Androids (current)

D - Domestic robots


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Androids (current)

Below are some of the androids currently being developed around the world. This list will be updated as more information becomes available.



This female android was first unveiled in 2003. Several more advanced units have since been developed. All feature silicon rubber skins, along with a variety of movements and behaviours to make them look and feel more humanlike. In Japan, some have already begun to appear in receptionist roles.* Shown here is "Geminoid F", the latest model.





ASIMO is perhaps the most well-known android in the world today. Created by Honda, it stands 130cm (4' 3") tall and weighs 54 kilograms (114 pounds). The robot resembles a small astronaut wearing a backpack and can move at speeds up to 6 km/h (4.3 mph). ASIMO is the current model in a line of twelve robots that began in 1986. The name is an acronym for "Advanced Step in Innovative MObility".




Domestic robots

Until recently, the idea of robots appearing in peoples' homes was considered science fiction, or something which only the very rich had access to. However, the consumer robotics market is booming at the moment. Thanks to falling costs, they are beginning to enter mainstream society. Sales of professional and personal service robots are expected to reach 11.5 million in 2011, more than double the number in 2008.*

Initially popular in Japan, Korea and the Far East, they are now spreading to Western homes too. Some robots clean carpets or mow the lawn; others help busy professionals entertain children or pets; other machines feed and bathe the elderly and incapacitated.

Korea has a stated goal of "a robot in every home by 2020," and Samsung has already developed a robot maid that "recognizes people, can turn on microwave ovens, washing machines and toasters, and also pick up sandwiches, cups and whatever else it senses as objects."*



PR2 is a two-armed, wheeled robot. It is being developed by Willow Garage, a robotics research lab in California. The name stands for "Personal Robot". In the future, it is hoped that this machine could assist with a number of household tasks, as well as learning about its environment. A prototype version has already demonstrated the folding of towels - and this can be achieved "on the fly", rather than using a fixed set of movements.*

Each of the robot's two arms can lift up to 1.8 kilograms each. It has two cameras and a 3D laser scanner to help it picture the world and to identify objects.





The Roomba is perhaps the most well-known domestic robot currently available. This autonomous vacuum cleaner is made and sold by the iRobot Corporation. Under normal operating conditions, it can navigate a living space and its obstacles while vacuuming the floor. The machine was introduced in 2002. By 2008 it had sold over 2.5 million units. Several updates and new models have since been released, allowing the Roomba to better negotiate obstacles and optimise cleaning.







AI & Robots | Biology & Medicine | Business & Politics | Computers & the Internet | Energy & the Environment | Home & Leisure | Military & War | Nanotechnology | Society & Demographics | Space | Transport & Infrastructure





1 Actroid receptionist, YouTube:
Accessed 3rd May 2010.

2 Robot Wars: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence, The Independent:
Accessed 3rd May 2010.

3 A Samsung Robot In Every Home By 2020?, h+ magazine:
Accessed 3rd May 2010.

4 See 2010.


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