Robots Again

I came across this interesting new robot development (ATR) currently being tested in Japan. This robot can carry a small handled shopping cart and give nutritional advice to the consumer. Although it seems positioned for the elderly, this might be a great service for consumers of all ages with special needs, such as newly diagnosed  diabetics, gluten intolerant, nut or food allergies sufferer or people with celiac disease. I also find that the carrying of the actual shopping basket is useful for individuals with mobility problems who do not desire to use the traditional courtesy shopping scooters available in many USA grocery stores. Perhaps future models will be able to reach higher shelves and bring down products for height challenged individual as myself. Conversely those with knee or leg issues may find having assistance at lower shelves also useful no matter how short or tall they are.

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1 Comment

Filed under Knowledge, Productivity, Technology, Thinking

One response to “Robots Again

  1. Fred

    The robot that Terry shows in the video is certainly marvelous in its application of helping the elderly by doing shopping lists, naming the list of ingredients, and carrying the hand basket.

    The technology behind this robot is also fascinating. The designers of the robot are extensively using a computing algorithm that roughly simulates the function of your brain. It’s called an Artificial Neural Network. Like our “natural neural networks”, or our brain, it is massively parallel with interconnections between nodes or cells. Like us, it is trained. The ANNs can be taught to recognize patterns and self-organize. This is unlike the normal serial computer we typically use which cannot recognize patterns. ANNs used in Artifical Intelligence is called “connectionist”. ANNs have been around since the 1950s but only until the mid-1980s has their been extensive research done on them. The power and possibilities of ANNs are demonstrated by applications such as this robot. Of course there are many challenges in integrating computer engineering and cognitive science to create these robots.

    There is much other fascinating research being done on other computing technologies as well such as genetic algorithms, DNA computers, quantum computers, etc. It will be interesting to see what the “future” will bring as research continues and robots become more android-like or human-like.

    Thanks to Terry for bringing this fascinating robot in Japan to our attention!

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