Monday, January 5, 2015

Technology – Romeo the future – Frankfurter Rundschau

04 January 2015

The Parisian start-up company Aldebaran celebrates success with robots that serve the welfare of the people – for example, in the elderly. Even now they can bring a glass of water or help up people who have fallen.

cosmopolitan Nao is therefore also. If the Dreikäsehoch in the telephone company weiterverbindet caller, and he does so in impeccable English. Not the slightest accent suggests that Nao is French. As the first robot in human form of the Parisian start-up company Aldebaran he has made a splash.

Maisonnier Bruno, founder and head of the firm, had presented a prototype of the little guy in 2006. Even then, Nao was a muscle packages, shinguards and epaulettes fortified acting journeyman who childishly innocent comes with perfectly round eyes wide, 58 centimeters in height and five pounds of weight. “Design robots that help people who have them a kind of digital friend, half Butler, semi-personal assistant,” the passionate hobbyist electronics and former bank manager Maisonnier describes the business idea.

Eight years later, she is still the same. However, from the garage operation, founded in 2005 has become a worldwide more than 450 employees employees of a 2011 to 78.5 percent inherited from the Japanese mobile operator Softbank company. 76 million euro, the Japanese have them taste the joining Aldebaran alleged. Nao which has won two sibling, the diminutive is misleading. The two brothers are in fact much larger and heavier than Nao.

Since the 1.20 meter tall, 28 kilos-making on the scale Pepper. With screen in front of the belly it slides currently on wheels by Nestlé Japan cafes, ie the customers welcome, encouraged for interactive communication. Around a thousand sociable conspecifics it will soon imitate him in supermarkets and other stores in the country.

The receiving robot can apparently even register feelings. “If Peppers Compared with bursts of laughter, then the robot knows the mood is good,” says the producer. Peppers body language then announce to also of great pleasure. Moreover, the Android remembers the preferences of his interlocutor, draws his own conclusions, make recommendations. And if all else fails Pepper times knows he is going online to look for the solution of the problem on the Internet.

And then there’s the stately 1.40 meters tall and 50 kilograms weight Romeo, the prototype has its best days ahead of it. The world’s growing life expectancy in view, want the engineers and programmers of Aldebaran train him for the Caregiver. We can already hold the door open, bring a glass of water, help up people who have fallen Romeo. Once charged, the equipped with four computers Robot through an entire working day. He knows how to distinguish men and women who greets here with a “Bonjour Monsieur,” there with a “Bonjour Madame”.

Robot Crash

The fact that he is bigger and stronger than his brothers, but also raises problems. Aldebaran must ensure that its forces Romeo gently used and not hurt anyone. In addition, it must be absolutely reliable. The idea that the robot after a system crash his possibly sick or disabled owner misunderstands and causes damage, engineers and programmers is a nightmare. In the words of Rodolphe Gelins, the Research Director of the company, he and his colleagues are currently taking steps “to reduce the risk of errors or even system crashes ever”.

Finally, Romeo is also can not cook. Gelin presents it this way: “The robot will download a recipe from the Internet, such as a for preparing pancakes, sets the instructions in gestures to, performs with arms and hands necessary for whisking eggs or pivoting the Rührlöffels movements.”

even question is how Romeo should understand that “eggs and flour mix” for him means: putting eggs in a salad bowl, let slip into yolks and whites, but not the shells, then gradually add the flour. Gelin trust his protege to the need to grasp. 2016 Director of Research will take the next step and let Romeo in nursing homes complete the first practice test.

Nao is not grown in the past eight years. But he has further developed itself. He can run, dance, fall, get back up and remember faces. Two cameras on par locate objects, four directional microphones sound sources. Nao like puzzles, which he puts his opponent and resolves itself if necessary. He knows something about mathematics and speaks 19 languages.

Schnarr end voice

Well, the voice may be a little complacent. You still buzzes a little, as we know from old sci-fi movies where robots have not only notable roles played. But his winning nature does not diminish. As a young and old alike popular comic book hero he comes. And it is this sympathy capital makes Aldebaran increasingly successful exploit.

As a therapist Nao is used. Autistic children who want to give anyone the hand, submit willingly the little playmates, learn to establish contact. In schools Nao is in the subject “Digital” of the party. Allegedly, the students do not go into the break, then the court, preferring to remain in the classroom at Nao. And in the adult world is already attracting already Naos mere presence of customers.

The electric equipment vendors Darty in whose branches Nao helps out at the time, hopes that the use of small agents increased sales. This Naos contributions will be limited, in essence, to attract customers to greet, to ask them a few questions and summon a work colleague of flesh and blood.

Unlike the brothers Pepper and Romeo has already brought about numerous crucial tests for series production Nao. In January, he should go to France in the sale. However, the price is not fixed yet. However, the Aldebaran boss Maisonnier is confident that Nao a bestseller is: “People find it so cute that they want it.” And one fine day will each household so have a mate


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