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Ontario Technoblog

Ontario Emperor technology blog.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Lost in a Supermarket

From AP/Yahoo:

Lost in a store? Let Japanese electronics maker Fujitsu's robot help guide your way.

Equipped with voice recognition capabilities, cameras and sensors, the 4-foot tall robot on wheels will go on sale for 6 million yen ($54,000) each in Japan in November — for just such a purpose.

Tokyo-based Fujitsu plans to sell about 20 or 30 of the robots, called "enon" (pronounced EH-nohn), which stands for "exciting nova on network," and already has received 10 orders....

Enon can find itself around in an office or store, based on a map programmed inside its computer brain, move at a slow pace of up 1.86 miles an hour, and picks up things as heavy as 1.1 pounds. Its mechanical arms have paws at the end that can grip objects....

Japan boasts one of the most advanced robot industries in the world. Industrial robots are widely used in plants, including those of automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. Toyota and Honda Motor Co. are also developing robots for entertainment and robotics research.

Fujitsu is among a burgeoning number of Japanese makers counting on a market for service robots like enon, where software solutions will drive the business rather than sophisticated machinery.

Fujitsu foresees the worldwide service robot market as growing to 100 billion yen ($907 million) by 2010. It wants enon to become a mass-produced product in a year or so, and hopes to lower its price to 2 million yen ($18,000).


From EE Times:

The enon robot is due to presented at the 23rd Annual Conference of the Robotics Society of Japan 2005, scheduled to be held at Keio University in Tokyo from Thursday (Sept 15.) The robot is also due to be exhibited at the 2005 International Robot Exhibition to be held in Tokyo in November, Fujitsu said....

Aside from a vocal function, enon can provide information through images on a 10.5-inch touch panel LCD. LEDs on the eye and mouth area of its face enable enon to display a facial expressions and the enon comes in three colors; Citrus Yellow, Lily White, Lavender Blue.

Fujitsu expects enon to work at events such as exhibitions, where it can roll alongside visitors and provide product details, or in corporate environments where the robot can escort guests to different locations. In addition, the enon can carry parcels or patrol and send camera images back to a central location using its wireless LAN transceiver.

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