Friday, April 06, 2007

Wakamaru

Wakamaru is a Japanese domestic robot made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, primarily intended to provide companionship to elderly and disabled people. The robot is yellow, 100 cm tall, and weights 30 kilograms. It has two arms and its flat, circular base has a diameter of 45 cm. The first hundred went on sale in September, 2005, for USD $14,000.

Wakamaru runs a Linux operating system on multiple microprocessors. It can connect to the Internet, and has limited speech (in both male and female voices) and speech recognition abilities. Functions include reminding the user to take medicine on time, and calling for help if it suspects something is wrong.

The robot has the potential to replace a human caretaker in Japan, where robotic technology is embraced and the graying of the population has left many young people wondering who will care for their parents.

Its 3-foot-tall frame contains an integrated cell phone that is programmed to call emergency dispatchers automatically if a problem occurs with a patient. An embedded Web camera lets doctors and family members keep an eye on the patient at all times. Speech-recognition software and a built-in dictionary provide the robot's vocabulary.

Wakamaru is so robust that he or she -- Mitsubishi can give the robot either a male or female voice -- can be programmed to remind patients to take their medicine and even call a doctor when it appears that someone is in distress.

Khoo Yuan Jin
U036997M
Home Site:

http://www.mhi.co.jp/kobe/wakamaru/english/index.html (English)

http://www.mhi.co.jp/kobe/wakamaru/know/index.html (Japanese)

12 comments:

Industry said...

This is an interesting robot which can perform so many task and in the same time can talk and listen. I think that the invention of caretaker robot has given the chance for human to remotely taking care of patient, kid or elderly people in their home.

Yong See Wei U048661X

Anonymous said...

It could be very useful to take care of patients with some diseases that are infectious. So the doctor or nurse can approach the patients only when something is wrong.

By U037121E Liu Pengyin

Assistive said...

Wakamaru is an interesting concept of providing the elderly with some company. Apart from helping the elderly it will be of great use to take care of kids and patients as well.
But just reminding elderly for medicine might not be enough. What about adding features which will make the robot help the patient eat the medicine too?
Naman Agarwal
U037020W

Assistive said...

I am wondering how this robot can detect that there is something wrong with their patient. I mean the technology behind the scenes, for example, how can it distinguish between a sleeping person and a fainting person

Phan Tien Khoi
U037846R

Anonymous said...

Makamaru actually memorizes the owner's schedule and act accordingly to it. If there is a wide different between the owner's daily life schedule and the schedule he has memorized or if there is no contact (touch, conversation) for a period of time, an email will be sent to an address stated beforehand

Khoo Yuan Jin
U036997M

Industry said...

wow, it sounds so interesting! but i guess many people would lose their work because of the robots, haha...

but anyway, it's really helpful, especially for the elderly. i attended a talk about smart house, but if the robot works well, i guess such a robot is a better choice than the smart house, for the smart house would cost more.

by U037157M Yi Jinzhou

dars.edutainment said...

Though personally I still prefer a real human being to take care of me if I was the patient, it is good to know this robot can perform many caring tasks.

However, I think it is very difficult to develop a robot as good as human beings in this area because there are so many different and special medical cases. Simple robot may not be able to distinguish different medical conditions.

yang kai U036508R

Edutainment said...

Hey!

It seems to be a very very useful robot, with so many functions.

However, I suppose all movements and reactions are programmed and pre decided. Suppose, certain changes are made, for instance the robot has to remind the patient to take medicines at particular timings. Now, these timings are changed for some reason and the user needs to be reminded at different timings..

so how user friendly is this robot? Can these changes be made easily by the user such that it reprograms the robot to serve the humans differently?

Rajalakshmi Raghavan (u036804N)

Medical said...

An embedded web camera? This is setting off some alarm bells. How is privacy guaranteed? If there's one way to make me feel like a burden at 70 years of age, it's to place me under constant camera surveillance by an expensive yellow robot.

Heng Kuan Yen
U037795M

dars.security said...

Its a shame Wakamaru can't handle stairs, that takes away a good bit of its usefulness.

Mentioning the linux operating system made me think about Microsoft's push into the robotics field. It will be interesting to see if linux operated robots are still a big part of the field in a few years.

Kevin Brown NT0601428

custom essay online help said...

Ha, nice one. really lovely robot, I'd like to get such pretty droid to mine))

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