New robots can connect users — or spy for them

This 2007 photo released by iRobot of Burlington, ...

Dominated by home-cleaning gadgets, the consumer robotics market is expanding with the arrival of ‘bots that can spy inside your home when you’re away or arrange virtual meetings of family or friends.

Robotics experts say gadgets introduced Thursday could usher more socially oriented robots into the U.S. market, though they bear little physical resemblance to humans or pets as robots embraced by consumers in Japan and South Korea do.

“As these kinds of devices mature in the years ahead, I expect them to gradually become more sophisticated in terms of providing gestures, object interaction such as picking things up, and eventually moving toward a more human shape,” said James Kuffner, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.

A new device by iRobot Corp. resembles the company’s disc-shaped Roomba vacuum cleaner but has a webcam bulging from the top.

Source:  Associated Press

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One Response to “New robots can connect users — or spy for them”

  1. Claire Wadlington Says:

    On Wednesday evening, October 10, 2007 the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge is putting on an event titled “The Next Wave of the Robot Revolution” which will cover the advance of robotics across a number of market segments (manufacturing, the military, health care, house cleaning for example).

    Rodney Brooks, Panasonic Professor of Robotics at MIT, founder of iRobot will a dynamic speaker will keynote the panel. Other presenting panelists from ABB Robotics, Brooks Automation, Kiva Systems, North End Technologies and Vecna Technologies will allow for a lively discussion of current and future applications of robotics. Representatives of these companies along with Bluefin Robotics, Cognex, and Foster Miller will be available to talk about both industry trends and employment opportunities before and after the event.

    MORE INFO:
    Website: http://www.mitforumcambridge.org/oct07.html
    Email: rbutler@mit.edu
    Phone: 617-253-8240
    Contact: Rob Butler

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