Japanese shoulder robot puts a friend on your shoulder

September 21, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgImagine that you’re out and about, hanging with a friend. You hit the park, grab a bite to eat, then enjoy a leisurely walk home. The confused looks and awkward giggling you keep getting might have something to do with the fact that your friend is actually a small robot perched on your shoulder. This is the goal for the MH-2 humanoid shoulder robot being developed at Japan’s Yamagata University.The idea is that your friends would be able to remotely take control of the MH-2 and interact with your world from anyplace. When completed, the MH-2 will be more than a simple telepresence robot; it should be able to speak, watch, gesture, and even emulate meatspace activities like breathing. The researchers have a vision for a fully humanoid version of the MH-2 that may or may not end up being incredibly creepy.At present, the MH-2 is little more than a torso attached to an armature on a backpack. The backpack is required to house the servos that control the complicated movement of the MH-2 prototype (including making the chest rise and fall). The actuators are used to tug on wires that actually cause the robot to move. It can already preform movements like waving, bowing, and pointing in response to remote commands.Researchers are working on miniaturizing the backpack with the intention of getting rid of it altogether at some point. This is very impractical for now, but perhaps one day you might have a friend on the other side of the world strap on a telepresence visor and join you on a walk like the proverbial angel (or devil) on your shoulder.via IEEE Spectrumlast_img read more