Mitsubishi's Wakamaru



Pictured above: Mitsubishi's Wakamaru


While robots have been used in manufacturing for many years, they are nothing like the robots you would have in your home if you were a part of TV's Jetsons or Futurama. Many electronics and even car companies are now working on robots that one day may find themselves in your home.

One such home Robot is Mitsubishi's Wakamaru. Wakamaru is designed to be simple robot that is able to almost become one of the family, able to converse with family members via voice recognition and facial recognition, he can recognise up to 10000 words. Apart from responding to a name that you can give the robot, he has several sensors to find you in your home like responding to sound or heat. The robot stores maps of you home that he compares to your ceiling with his camera to know what room he is in.

Wakamaru can keep up to date with you daily life pattern and it has a mechanism to speak words referencing the human communication, as well as to face the person to speak to and to move while keeping a distance with a person and to use gestures according to the conversation. Based on the information obtained from your daily life pattern or from your contact, it approaches you and provides a topic according to life scenes. or he can access the internet to tell you your favorite piece of information. 

Wakamaru lives beside you from wakeup time to bed time in harmony with your life. If it finds you in the same room, it comes closer to you and speaks to you. At night, it stands by at its charging station and responds if requested.

The robot will be a benefit to security minded people and the elderly, he can be used to monitor your home while you are away and email you pictures of your house. He can be programmed to remind you to take your pills at a given time or alert others if there is a wide difference between the users daily life schedule and the contact like if you do not enter the dining room at the usual time in the morning, or do not go out of home as scheduled.

Operating under the Linux operating system, the cute Wakamaru robot is wheel driven which confines him to simple single story houses, he uses both ultrasonic and infra red sensors to avoid collisions and can return return to his charging station when he needs a feed of power. His arms have 4 degrees of movement and he can sense if they hit something. his neck has 3 degrees of movement and has touch sensors along with his neck to provide the user another way to respond to him.

It is unknown yet when Wakamaru will go on sale, nor have prices been set although the latter is expected to be above 9000 dollars, a price that can be viewed as cheap if you compare this to hiring a butler. Sure the robot will never be able to do as much as the butler can but the robot may be more fun to play with. 

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Did You Know?

The word robot comes from the 1920 Czech play Rossum's Universal Robots. The word comes from the Czech word robota, which means tedious labor.



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