Someday, robots could replace humans as nurse's aides, but first they will need a little sensitivity training. Japan's Ri-Man is headed in the right direction. With sensors that enable it to see, smell and hear its environment, it also has some 320 pressure points on its arms and chest that allow it to sense the exact position of whatever it's holding. The bot can lift 80 lbs. today, but researchers hope to strengthen the motors in Ri-Man's arms without increasing their size, so they still resemble those of a man, not a monster.
Inventor: Bio-mimetric Control Research Center at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research
Availability: Not for sale
To learn more visit www.bmc.riken.jp/~RI-MAN/index_us.html
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