Twendy-One Has Man-Crushing Arms But a Featherlight Touch

Twendy-One.jpgFive feet tall, weighing in at 211 kilograms, Twendy-One is all sensors and cybernetic muscle. Mechanical engineers at Waseda University in Japan developed the talking humanoid helper robot to be capable of lifting a handicapped person out of bed, but also handling a piece of toast or a straw without flattening them. The task took seven years, millions of dollars and, incidentally, 241 pressure sensors on each silicon (silicone?) hand. Twendy was named after his older sister Wendy, but unlike her he will likely hit the market by 2015, for $US200,000 a piece. My plan is to buy five, pile them into a spaceship and teach them to play cricket with exploding balls. Got any better ideas? [Twendy-One via Reuters]