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Over the past 20 years robots have slowly been making their way into our every day lives, whether it be working in factories, self-driving cars making the roads safer and even vacuuming away those pesky pet hairs. It is evident robots are here to stay. In Japan this sentiment has been taken a step further with the introduction of commercial companion robots such as the Sony Aibo robot dog and LOVOT that have been developed to serve as new additions of the family. Their creators take us through the history of their development and Danielle George demonstrates her spectacular robot orchestra!
Sony’s approach to Entertainment Robot
Masahiro Fujita (VP, Senior Chief Researcher, Sony and Director of Sony AI Inc.)
Sony proposed “Robot Entertainment” as a new industry of robotics and in 1999 started to sell a small autonomous dog-shaped robot named AIBO which was developed for human interaction. In 2000 Sony also started development of QRIO - a small humanoid robot which can dance, sing, and communicate with human with spoken natural language. Sony discontinued development of both AIBO and QRIO in 2006, but restarted sales in 2018. After more than 10 years, the technologies inside Aibo such as hardware and AI have rapidly progressed. In my talk, I will introduce the history of our development.
Groove X (Creators of LOVOT)
LOVOT, which is a combination of the words “LOVE” and “ROBOT”, was born for just one reason – “to be loved by you”. LOVOT is an extraordinary type of robot, which does not work on behalf of humans, but instead, it gives you comfort and companionship. LOVOT, an emotional robot, was developed to make the human power to love even stronger. At the 2019 CES, LOVOT was named The BEST ROBOT and at CES 2020, it was selected as an Innovation Awards honoree among 333 robots. In this session, we will talk about how LOVOT was developed, the product design, and the technologies in it.
The Robot Orchestra Project
Danielle George (Professor of Electronic Engineering and Associate Vice President Blended and Flexible Learning)
As part of Manchester ESOF2016 We wanted to do a project that would capture the imagination and the creativity of the people of Manchester. We thought about what would bring the creativity of people who didn’t see themselves as scientists or engineers – the arts, music. And so we decided on a robot orchestra. But I didn’t want to do another robot orchestra, lots out there that are very high tech and professional. Let’s do a project where everyone involved is out of their comfort zone… and the Manchester Recycled Robot Orchestra was born.