As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

The Art & & Science of ROBOTICS (5) – Robotics Museums & Exhibitions

I hope you are enjoying this week’s ROBOTICS feature. Some of you may be wondering if any of these robots are available for viewing (or for interaction with the public). So I did a little research on the internet and found some must-see Robotics Museums and Special Exhibitions.
Robots and Beyond:
Exploring Artificial Intelligence at MIT
(Info & Image Source)
Robots and Beyond shares the results of decades of Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation at MIT.
You’re invited to explore the ideas that shaped the way AI and the birth of robotics are synonymous with research at MIT.
The world’s first AI research group began at MIT in 1959. Today, the Computer Science and AI Lab, CSAIL, is the largest laboratory on campus.

Robots and Beyond gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the inventive concepts and processes that lead MIT’s AI labs to great contributions in many areas including medicine, underwater exploration, and entertainment.

You’ll learn about tele-operated surgical robots, robotic legs, and socially intelligent humanoid robots that interact with their environments in human-like ways. You’ll see prototypes and other media that trace the evolution of some of MIT’s resident robots, including Kismet, Cog, and RoboTuna!

San Jose, California
(built right where it belongs- the Silicon Valley)

The Tech Museum is singularly focused on inspiring the innovator in everyone it reaches. Truly hands-on and interactive exhibits, divided among themed galleries, offer guests a truly memorable experience. The Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater and various unique museum programs make a visit to the bright, mango-colored Tech one you won’t soon forget.(Info Source)
Check out the different galleries at The Tech
ROBOTICS: Sensing, Thinking, Acting
Info from The Tech
If you think robots are mainly the stuff of space movies, think again. Right now, all over the world, robots are on the move. They’re painting cars at Ford plants, assembling Milano cookies for Pepperidge Farms, walking into live volcanoes, driving trains in Paris, and defusing bombs in Northern Ireland. As they grow tougher, nimbler, and smarter, today’s robots are doing more and more things we can’t –or don’t want to do.
Check out this useful website from The TECH MUSEUM
The Tech Museum of Innovation offers this website for upper elementary/middle school children, providing articles on history, ethics and innovation in the field of robotics. Videos, interactive games and interviews with people in the field make this site especially effective.(Info Source)

The International Robot Exhibition (IREX) 
is the largest robot trade fair in the world.
It is an event that has been staged 
once every two years in Tokyo, Japan since 1973
and is organized by the Japan Robot Association (JARA) 
and the company Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Ltd. 
It is a place for companies from Japan 
and around the world to exhibit the latest 
in robot technology.
 Micro Flying Robot
Image Source
The Micro Flying Robot (µFR) 
is the world’s smallest and lightest robot helicopter prototype, which was developed by Seiko Epson and demonstrated at the International Robot Exhibition 
in Tokyo in Nov 2003The purpose of its development was to demonstrate its micro-mechatronics technology and to explore the possible use of micro robots and the development of component technology applications.
(Info Source)
Actroid is a type of android (humanoid robot) 
and with strong visual human-likeness developed by Osaka University and manufactured by Kokoro Company Ltd. (the animatronics division of Sanrio). It was first unveiled at the 2003 International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo, Japan. Several different versions of the product have been produced since then. In most cases, the robot’s appearance has been modeled after an average young woman of Japanese descent.
The Actroid woman is a pioneer example of a real machine similar to imagined machines called by the science fiction terms android or gynoid, so far used only for fictional robots. It can mimic such lifelike functions as blinking, speaking, and breathing. The “Repliee” models are interactive robots with the ability to recognize and process speech and respond in kind.
(Info and Image Source)
Male & Female ACTROIDS
Developed by Kokoro Co.Ltd.
Since the unveiling of the Actroid at the 2003 IREX,
Kokoro has continued to improve and expand their invention, 
the male actroid is their latest creation.
And believe it or not, the Actroids are able to interact 
with each other.

Watch this video of these ‘very’ human-like robots invented by Japanese engineers

(“TOSY Ping Pong Playing Robot”)
 is a bipedal humanoid robot designed to play table tennis against a human being. It has been developed since 2005 by TOSY, a robotics firm in Vietnam. It was publicly demonstrated at the Tokyo International Robot Exhibition on November 28, 2007.
TOPIO 3.0 (the latest version):approx.1.88 m (6′ 2″)  
and weighs 120 kg (264 lbs). Every TOPIO uses an advanced artificial intelligence system to learn and continuously improve its skill level while playing. (Info Source)
Watch a video of TOSY TOPIO:
 Table Tennis Playing Robot

A Little Thought on the ROBOT inventions, especially the Actroids…

If you happen to think that these robotic inventions are a mere waste of time and money here is something to ponder on: 
President Rutherford B. Hayes to Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 on viewing the telephone for the first time: “That’s an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one of them?”(Info Source)

I guess now our question to Mr Bell would be “Who would not want to use one of them?” hahahahaha One day we might say the same thing about  Actroids & other robots. I have a feeling that day is not too far away.

And if you are wondering why Japan is so keen on perfecting the ACTROID or the Humanoid Robot here is an article you should read..Japan’s lonely may rent ‘family’ for home visits

Here’s an excerpt from the article..

TOKYO — The grandfather sank onto the tatami mat, sighed and lighted a cigarette as the visitors left. The grandmother sang and chattered as she cleared plates of fish bones from the table.

It had been pretty much your typical Saturday visit from the younger generation, save for a few details. Like, who the visitors really were.

The “family” that had just left were utter strangers — a part-time actress and a part-time actor, paid $200 each to play the elderly couple’s daughter and son-in-law, and an 8-month-old boy, rented from his parents to play the grandson.

“It costs a lot less than what some people do for entertainment, like taking a trip to Southeast Asia,” the grandfather said.
Read the rest of the story

I have shared this article with you to make you understand why it makes sense why Japanese companies are keen on perfecting the Humanoid Robot. It will be a perfect ambassador of human kindness. Perhaps, Japan’s (and other countries’) Health System can buy/hire a few hundred actroids to visit the sick, the elderly,the mentally ill… The visit will create a sense of wellness and will most likely decrease the number of days people will be sick or depressed, which in turn means less cost for the health system.

I myself want to get a TOPIO that will play Pingpong with me on demand. It will keep me healthy and happy, imagine your own personal playmate who will be ready to play when I am and won’t tire or complain.

And imagine the possibilities of a dog robot or an Actroid companion/asssistant for blind people and stroke victims. There is so much yet to be unveiled in the world of Robotics Inventions, and humanity has a lot to benefit from them. I am all for these developments in ROBOTICS for as long as the creators keep their intentions pure and noble.

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This entry was posted on July 20, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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