Care-O-Bot Robot Does Chores One-Handed

Care-o-Bot shown below is the third generation of prototype household help robots from Fraunhofer IPA.


(Care-o-Bot)

Care-O-bot®3 has an omnidirectional platform, with four steered and driven wheels. This kinematic system enables the robot to move in any desired direc- tion and therefore also safely to nego- tiate narrow passages.

Care-O-bot®3 is equipped with a highly flexible, commercial arm with seven degrees of freedom as well as with a three-finger hand. This makes it capable of gripping and operating a large number of different everyday objects. A force-torque sensor provides the robot with feedback from its environ- ment as well as from the humans with whom it is interacting.

“We see Care-o-bot as a household device, not as a substitute for a human helper. Also, we have experienced that a humanoid look also leads to high expectations about the capabilities of the robot,” said Birgit Graf (who heads the domestic and personal service robotics group at IPA) who says that the robot is simply supposed to “care” for people—not take the place of a real person. “Basically, people expect it to be able to do everything that a human is able to do. However, the system is still specialized for the execution of selected household tasks.”

I can't quite figure out why you wouldn't want two arms on this robot. Unless, of course, you were concerned that you might one day need to fight it.

Sounds like Heinlein's Flexible Frank to me: "Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? Answer: any work a human being does around a house..."

Care-o-Bot has some competition; see these general household robots:

  - Twendy-One Robot Is Your Humanoid Helper
  - REEM-B Robot Autonomous Helper Video

From Care-o-Bot at Fraunhofer IPA and Reuters; thanks to Moira for the tip on this one.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/14/2008)

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