Dec 22 2008

KAR – the Kitchen Assistant Robot does the dishes

KAR (Kitchen Assistant Robot) is a dishwashing robot from Japan. Developed by teams at Panasonic and The University of Tokyo, the one armed robot can gingerly handle your most precious chinaware, wash the entire set and then place the dishes in a kitchen dish rack.

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KAR accomplishes this feat via the use of 18 different sensors in its hand. The scientists behind the robot hope to have KAR ready for commercial use in about five years. For now the KAR robot is just a prototype, but grizzled drifters counting on greasy spoon diner dishwashing work might want to take notice. You can check out video of the KAR robot in action here.


Dec 6 2008

MEIT Robot Award 2008

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been advancing efforts to develop technologies required for the commercialization of robots and to ensure their safety, with an eye to fostering the robot industry to become one of the leading industries in the world.

As part of such efforts, METI, together with co-organizers, presents “The Robot Award 2008” with the aim of promoting R&D and application of robotic technologies in the private sector, and promoting the creation of new markets for them. This award program was established in 2006.

From among the 65 entries submitted, eight robots were selected as First Prize-winners by the selection committee for their outstanding service this year and contribution to and potential for future market development.

Here are all winners:

Category: Service robots

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Omnibot17µ i-sobot from Takara Tomy

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“Booktime” from Nishizawa [JP], an automatic page turner

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Rice-transplanting robot from Japan’s National Agriculture and Food Research Organization

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Robotics-based engineer training solution ZMP e-nuvo from ZMP

Category: Industrial robots

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Small assembly conveyance robot XR-G from Denso Wave

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10th generation LCD glass substrate processing robot MOTOMAN-CDL 3000D from Yaskawa Electric

Category: Other robots and parts

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Hose-shaped rescue robot from Tohoku University

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Ultra-small MEMS 3-axial touch sensor chip from the University of Tokyo and Panasonic

The METI will select winners of the Grand Prize and the Venture Award for SMEs from these robots and announce them December 18.


Dec 2 2008

Motoman robot cooks okonomiyaki

The multi-talented Motoman SDA10, a dexterous dual-arm industrial robot manufactured by Yaskawa Electric, is demonstrating its ability to cook okonomiyaki (a Japanese dish consisting of a pan-fried batter cake and various ingredients) at the International Next-Generation Robot Fair in Osaka, Japan.

Designed to operate independently alongside humans in the workplace, the 135-centimeter (4.5 ft) tall, 220-kilogram (480 lb) industrial robot has 15 joints — 7 in each arm and one in the torso — allowing a wide range of motion for the job, whether it be on the factory floor or behind the kitchen counter.

This high degree of manual precision comes in handy when grilling up okonomiyaki.

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As a chef, the Motoman relies on speech recognition technology to take verbal orders from customers. Using standard kitchen utensils, the robot mixes the okonomiyaki batter, pours it onto the iron grill, forms it into a round pancake-like disk, flips it, puts it on a plate when done, and applies condiments.

via Pink Tentacle