What do we want robots to do for us? The field of robotics is making great leaps in robot abilities, but these abilities come one at a time. We won’t have Rosie from The Jetsons until the various specific tasks are combined into one machine. When that happens, they will take over. But until then, you’ll have to choose the purpose of your robot, and hope it can do that specific task well. Here are some of the most recently-unveiled robots and what they can do.
1. Salon Robot Shampoos Hair
The Head Care Robot from Panasonic has a chair and a sink built right in. Get in and let the machine scan your head to determine its exact shape. Then shampoo and water is dispensed, and 24 robotic fingers go to work: eight massage your neck and the rest massage your scalp until it’s completely clean. Then it’s rinse, conditioner, massage, rinse, and blow dry. The process resembles a high-tech automatic car wash.The Head Care Robot is in public testing at Super Hair Seo salon in Nishinomiya, Japan.
2. Robot Barber Shaves Head
The Robot Barber actually has arms coming at you with electric razors. The machine is the Multi-Arm Unmanned Ground Vehicle (MA-UGV) from Intelligent Automaton, Inc. and is designed to do many different tasks with its three arms, each with multiple sensors including cameras. The volunteer in this video works for the company, and is fully aware of the robot’s capabilities and safety features, if not its talent for hairstyling.
3. Pool-playing Robot Shoots Billiards
Graduate student Thomas Nierhoff at Technische Universität München in Germany equipped a two-armed human-size robot with a pool cue and connected it to a ceiling-mounted camera. The robot analyzes the configuration of billiard balls and calculates the best angle mathematically before taking a shot. It’s not yet perfect, but it’s better than most non-professional players.
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