Above NEC's Health and Food advice robot , Sony's QIRO , Mitsubishi's Wakamura (from left ) This robot with “taste buds” is a new feature added to the common existing ones like patrolling the home with built-in cameras for detecting intrusion , recognizing faces and voices to communicate with its owners as well as to provide information and controlling home appliances . Officially called the “ Health and Food Advice Robot “ and dubbed as the world’s first partner robot with a sense of taste by its creator, NEC System Technologies . The robot is able to analyze the food and ingredients and also to perform food tasting . In other words , the robot is able to break down the compositions of the food and also differentiate among the variants of a particular food . For example, the robot is able to determine the amount of fat composition in a cheese and possibly what kind (brand) of cheese it is . On top of it , the robot can also offer advices to its user if it is given its user’s health profile . The advices include how to improve the user’s health and eating habits based on the robot’s analysis of the user’s diet . Technology behind the “food tasting” The robot has an infrared sensor equipped to one of its arms . This robot utilizes a property called “ spectrum reflection ratio” to determine the composition of the food . Varying wavelengths of infrared light are beamed onto the food, where the spectrums of the reflected infrared lights are analyzed to determine the actual contents in the food. Now the food compositions in term of water, protein and other molecule types have been determined by the infrared sensor. Given the robot’s database of the food compositions, the robot is able to identify the food if it exists in its database or “remembers” it if it isn’t. ( picture left shows the infrared sensor on its arm ) References : http://www.necst.co.jp/english/press/20050609/index.htm http://www.roboticsdaily.com/headline/Health-Food-Advice-Robot.html Photo sources from : NEC : http://plusd.itmedia.co.jp/lifestyle/articles/0506/09/news070.html Mitsubishi Wakamaru : http://www.mhi.co.jp/kobe/wakamaru/english/about/index.html Sony QIRO : http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/QRIO/top_nf.html
Monday, March 27, 2006
NEC's Health and Food Advice Robot
u0303819 Ang Yong Chee Health and Food Advice Robot While most of the media attention goes to high publicized domestic robots like the Sony’s QRIO and the Mitsubishi’s Wakamuru , another Japanese giant NEC has announced that it has developed a new robot that is capable of tasting food .