Dec 7 2008

Mamoru-kun, a robot helper

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Mamoru-kun, an immobile and diminutive robot by the University of Tokyo, could tell you where you last left those keys that you lose. Developed in cooperation with Fujitsu and Toyota, Mamoru-kun measures a mere 40cm tall and weighs 3.8kg. Mamoru-kun can find an object the owner is looking for within specified areas and alerts the owner about it either via verbally through speaker or by pointing at it using its jointed arm (it has another two joints at the neck). We’re still very early on into the technology though – Mamoru-kun’s lost-item-finding powers are limited to pre-programmed items in a specified area only.

For the system to work, you’d have to input items that often get misplaced for identification later. The whole area where you need Mamoru-kun to monitor would also have to be wired with cameras connected to the robot. While these requirements are severely limiting, Mamoru-kun’s developers believe that it could provide great assistance “especially beneficial for elderly and sick persons. ” Additionally, commercialization of the technology isn’t expected until 2018.