iRobot says its Warrior bot is more human than ASIMO

giovedì, aprile 16th, 2009
da Engadget di Donald Melanson

Is
a humanoid robot inherently more human than your average task-specific
bot? iRobot apparently doesn’t think so, and it’s taken square aim at
one of the most popular humanoid bots around to make its point. That
argument arose in a recent interview with CNET News, where
iRobot CEO Colin Angle responded to a question about humanoid robots by
flatly asking, "why would you want to make a humanoid robot?," adding
that they might be good for movies or those looking for a robot
companion, "but other than that, most tasks are best tackled by designs
that are not constrained by trying to look like a person." He then goes
on to note that Honda’s ASIMO
"requires a team of 10 or 15 people to maintain it, it can walk about,
maybe, half a meter per second and in some situations climb stairs over
the course of a few minutes, and if it ever falls down, it’s a
paperweight." On the other hand, iRobot’s Warrior bot,
he says, "can take a 10-foot drop onto concrete, drive 20 miles an
hour, drive up stairs without stopping at full speed, carry 200 pounds
of payload and has, maybe, five motors," which means it can "go nearly
everywhere a human can." So, Angle says, "you look at these things and
say, which one of these is a robot human? The answer is, Warrior." Is
it? Or, deep down, is there a little bit of ASIMO in all of us?

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