M3-Kindy and M3-Noby Will Help Scientists Better Understand the First Years of Our Lives
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14th of June 2010, 07:56 GMT | By Alexandru Nistor
The JST Erato Asada Project has done it again by releasing two powerful cognitive robots. Though “Chucky” seems like a regular toy compared with these two robots, they have not been developed to do evil, but rather to help researchers understand the way we see the world in the early years of our lives. The two robots are part of JST Erato Asada Project's M3 series and called M3-Kindy and M3- Noby.
The M3-Kindy (kindergarten) is the larger robot, the one teaching scientists about the life of a five-year-old. Professor Minoru Asada of Osaka University sees this one as a valuable tool in understanding the human nature a little better. How can this “young” robot study humans? Well, it is equipped with 109 tactile sensors and 42 high performance motors, which help it move more realistically.
The whole thing weighs 27 kg and can display various emotions, even though it has no soul. It will be used in parental interaction studies and in order to record the whole process, its developers have mounted two cameras and two microphones on it, as well as speech recognition. M3-Kindy is also capable of mild interactions with objects.
The M3-Noby is the one built as a new born surrogate. In order to better perform as an infant, this one needed 600 tactile sensors. Although it is lighter than its “older” brother and measures only 71 cm, this model is in fact more accurate. This cognitive robot built with support from AIST and Tokyo University researchers also has two microphones to hear, and two cameras it uses to detect objects around it. There is a video of the M3-Noby for you to better understand the utility of these robots.
I don't see how communicating with a robot resembles communicating with a baby, but perhaps that's just me. There are a lot of variables, which will miss from this type of interaction. Plastic pals has more videos with these two robots.
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