378 words — 2 minutes read

Tweakfest - Robots are better Dancers

Fuminori Yamasaki, CEO iXs Research Corporation

Shows a small ECO Robot KHR-1, that is sold for $1'000. He shows that it can walk, stand on it’s arms, somersault and make a cartwheel. It is used for example for battle competitions between humanoid robots. There are 100 competitors that match their robots every 6 months, so they have to make new robots every 6 months.

The hardware has become very good, but nobody knows about a purpose or usage yet (unlike the car, which has a purpose and high infrastructure needs (roads, gas stations)

He compares the “life with robots” to the dream of humankind “to fly”

(Is that a valid comparison? The dream of flying is deeply entrenched in humandkind. Is “living with robots” the same kind of dream?)

Introduction of some robots and the approach to explore the purposes. (Entertainment, Research, Rescue)

Note to presenter: Have a backup plan in case you have to reboot your PC because Powerpoint locks up ;-)

Interesting are the rescue robots, because they actually server a purpose. And it’s not humanoid - but adapted to crawling (rolling) over debris.

Home robots can control house equipment, provide an interface to the house. But shouldn’t that be a function of the house devices? Interfacing a house device to a human controller via a home robot seems a totally inefficent way of doing this.

Education with robots - because students have more time in Japan, the have to spend their time. However they don’t know what to do… Robots make for interesting education objects, because they pose interesting problems and are an attractive topic for study. iXs (and other companies) therefore build robots that are reasonably priced for educational purposes.

Using robots in education keeps 80% of students in class (on saturday afternoons) and 90% of students develop their own controlling software.

He closes with examples of robots in interaction with people in shopping malls in japan. While interesting the question still lingers: What is the purpose?

A video of robots dancing traditional japanese dances. Does this work because japanese dances are very ritualized and formalized already?

The quest for the purpose is still open. This is the real case for a solution looking for a problem and a purpose!

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Jens-Christian Fischer

Maker. Musician