RoboBusiness: Some Robots Get Emotional, Others Get Physical

The IZI Robotics development team must be comprised of elves, oompa loompas, or leprechauns. I couldn't find a robot that was bigger than a Swiffer head at their booth. They had roving robots that traced dark lines, wheel-based cubes that kicked around a golf ball, wireless "emotional network robots" (Netoys) that looked like winged Boos from Mario Brothers, and sensor-reacting I-Pets that lit up and looked cute. I-Pets can be controlled using an IM-like PC messaging program via a USB cable that connects directly into their rear ends. Netoys, operating on a wireless network, luckily evaded this particular design trait.

Follow the jump for the RoboBusiness 2007 wrap-up. (Will robot evolution ever reach a point where they can simply drag us off to their robotic caves? The answer might surprise you.)

As my robotically charged quest drew to a close, I couldn't help but reminisce over the many robots that touched me in so many ways, including the one that jerked me across the floor, almost crashing into the wall and ending my life. Still, I saw robots that danced, robots that clapped, robots that fell down repeatedly and kept falling down for no apparent reason, robots that picked up hard plastic suitcases, and finally, robots that showed promise and hope for the future. A future rife with cyborgs and Terminators. A future mired in wires, rife with automation and instant gratification. No more security guards, no more supermarket clerks, no more parents. Although, based on the Whitman's Sampler of robotic mediocrity I trudged through today, that future still might be a little ways off.

Event Homepage [RoboBusiness Conference & Expo 2007]

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