You never have to be alone again. At least, that’s the thinking behind the Japanese shoulder robot.
Created by Yuichi Tsumaki, Fumiaki Ono and Taisuke Tsukuda from Yamagata University in Japan, the MH-2 robot — miniature
humanoid — perches on the shoulder like a bird and enables users to share experiences with friends and family who cannot be present in person.
No details have been given of the robots being outfitted in angel or devil costumes.
The MH-2 robot was recently introduced at the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. The device falls under the category of telepresence, a type of tech that enables users to feel as if they are actually present in real life.
The robot is designed to be able to mimic human mannerisms and actions in order to make the connection between the real-life user and and digitally connected friend as realistic as possible.
The at-home friend should use a 360-degree immersive reality display in order to see through the robot’s eyes. A Kinect-like device is necessary for the at-home user to instruct the robot’s movements.
The robot has 20 degrees of freedom, or rotation, throughout its form to simulate human actions and movements. Seven degrees of freedom are contained within the robot’s arms — the same amount as a human arm. The gadget has enough movement ability that it can even simulate breathing.
However, all that movement comes at a price. The gadget requires a bulky backpack in order to store the servomechanisms and motors necessary to send instructions to the robot’s head, arms and body. Powered by 22 actuators, or motors, joint movements and rotations are controlled by the tug of a wire.
With its human-like movement ability, the MH-2 follows recent developments in the automation industry that are trending toward creating more lifelike robots. The ECCEROBOT, short for Embodied Cognition in a Compliantly Engineered Robot, is the world’s first ‘anthropomimetic’ robot, meaning the robot copies inner human mechanism, rather than simply mimicking outward actions.