That's right, Chuck. I find it so interesting when robots are designed to resemble humans. It seems there are very few functions that are enhanced by human resemblance. As an example, some form of wheel makes more sense for mobility than two legs in almost any environment.
What really struck me was the size of the thing. Being humanoid is one set of discussions, but full-size in a cramped kitchen seems more like a gimmick than anything else.
The other question is adaptability. It seems to work fine for a BIG block of dough as in the video. However, why the technology can be adapted to other types of foods, it would seem that much else would require more human intervention / setup which would kill the cost savings.
Also, any idea on the maintenance and cleaning required? (Yes, I know China does not have the FDA).
@jhankwitz: It's true that the vendors are making a big deal about the humanization and emoticon capabilities of these new robots. In some cases, it definitely makes sense, especially if there is a scenario that mimics one-to-one interaction, not just co-working on a task. But I do agree, in this case, once again, it's overkill and likely a reason to sell the robot for a much higher price tag.
Maybe if we quit calling them robots they would fit in better. Just call it a Remotely Operated Better Operating Technical System, or ROBO- wait a minute! That didn't work! I better think about this...
In part of the robotics world, human-like configuration seems to hold some value. Not sure why. One thing I like about robots that are designed entirely for function is the elegance of their shapes and movements. Human-form robots have always seemed a bit inefficient and creepy to me.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
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