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Monday, January 10, 2011

The Top Innovative Robot Designers 2010

Global Robotics is slowly transforming from industrial to service robotics with focus on user interaction, usability, safety and social issues. Innovation and design are key success factor for high-tech products and robot developers can find inspiration from many young industrial designers all over the world.  Some of the most innovative and creative robot designers 2010 are among the Electrolux Design Lab 2010 Competiton finalists and the ICSR 2010 Inaugural Robot Design Competition winners.

Bio Robot Refrigerator  
Yuriy Dmitriev, Chuvash State University, Russia developed the The Bio Robot Refrigerator concept where biorobots in biopolymer gel cool through luminescence and use the non sticky, odorless gel to envelope stored food as individual pods. Sans doors and drawers, the fridge can be oriented vertical or horizontal, as per the home requirements. See Yuriy´s presentation below.

VR Robotic Chefs
The virtual Kitchen with robotic chefs is the brainchild of Daniel Dobrogorsky, student at Industrial Design & Mechanical Engineering at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He developed the Kitchen Hideaway virtual reality concept that allows the inhabitants of a communal building to imagine being in a kitchen, preparing a particular meal rather than having to actually do this for themselves. The thoughts of the user are then transmitted to robotic chefs within the building who then prepare the visualised meal in a real kitchen and with real ingredients. In effect, the headset replaces the need for kitchen appliances in individual dwellings, saving space through creative thinking. Daniel didn´t win the competition but Electrolux, Swedish world leading producer of appliances and equipment for kitchen and cleaning, likes his idea so much that it already has applied patent (SE1000512-2for "Method for Cooking".

Aibo-like Vacuum Cleaner
A more traditional robot idea comes from Berty Bhuruth who designed the Instinct Vacuum cleaner, a robotic, four-legged device that adapts to its environment in response to a future where people will have less time and less space to store things, making efficient cleaning a problem. The vacuum cleaning robot chooses the path of less cleaning resistance by consulting 3d models of the room it creates before tackling its task.

Soft Social Robot
Squishy Robots
RuiFeng Yeo from School of Design at Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore, imagines social robots that are able to interact with parents and child. His Squishy robots are able to learn, teach and grow along with the child. The robot is a stimulant for the child and parents to allow better bonding and   better communications. It also teaches the child according to its learning capabilities. Squishy was awarded with the First Prize at the ICSR 2010 Inaugural Robot Design Competition in Singapore.

Robotics Pet Networks & Creepy Avatars
In the future people will interact with robots in a more entertaining, engaging, and seamless manner as a collaborator or assistant, rather than merely use robots as tools for daily assistance. This is the idea behind Robomo of Prof. Ravindra De SilvaInteractions and Communication Design Lab, Toyohashi University of Technology. In his vision  futuristic vision robots can act as personalized-accompanying sociable animal-like creatures that  establish social robot network among them to learn and acquire information based on the personality of the proprietor. Robomos can collect information, learn and act as companions for their owners.

Telepresence of the Future
Infonaut: Telenoid@Ars Electronica 2010
Japanese roboticist professor Hiroshi Ishiguro from Osaka University, well known for his human like androids, surprised in 2010 with a minimalistic telepresence robot, sized as a small child, with soft torso, a bald head, a doll-like face, and stumps in place of limbs. 
The idea behind this strange robotic creature called  Telenoid was to create a teleoperated robot that can be female or male, an adult or a youngster, that can be easily transferred, making it suitable for a wide-range of users. 

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