Tag: ‘KDDI’

Polaris: Mobile phone robot

09 Sep 2009

Mobile phone giant KDDI has teamed up with Tokyo-based Flower Robotics to develop a new concept mobile phone/robot system designed to monitor and learn the user's behavior and communicate via a home TV set.

Polaris mobile phone robot by KDDI iida --

Called "Polaris," the prototype system consists of a mobile handset that monitors the user's daily activities and an artificially intelligent robot sphere (it looks a lot like Sony's Rolly music player robot) that charges the handset and displays data on the user's TV.

When the phone is held near Polaris, the robot opens up to reveal a cradle for the handset. And when it is placed aboard, the robot automatically steers itself toward the contactless charger connected to the home TV set. Polaris then proceeds to analyze the most recent information collected by the handset, and it displays various data on the TV screen and offers advice, if necessary. Like an artificial life form with a bit of personality, Polaris can physically respond to the data with a series of lights, sounds, and movements.

+ Video

According to Flower Robotics, the Polaris system -- which was unveiled in Tokyo today along with a host of other KDDI "iida" brand products -- is designed to learn the user's lifestyle by collecting data, analyzing activity, and identifying trends. The robot keeps a database of information accumulated through the handset, such as the user's daily travel and walking habits, calls and email messages sent and received, and online transactions. Using this data, Polaris learns to predict the user's behavior and offer relevant advice and information.

Polaris mobile phone robot by KDDI iida --

Still in the concept phase, Polaris needs a number of improvements to prepare it for the real world. In particular, the robot's navigation system needs further attention. At the demonstration, the robot was placed on a large table that had magnets embedded along the edges, and it used sensors to detect the magnets and stop itself from falling off. According to the developers, future versions of Polaris may achieve greater autonomy by communicating with sensors embedded in the walls of the home.

In addition, the developers plan to make the handset more secure by equipping the touch-screen with finger vein sensors.

Flower Robotics has been working with KDDI on the Polaris concept model since joining the au design project in 2007. The developers hope to have a commercial version of the robot ready next year, although the price and final design have yet to be decided.

[Source: Impress]

Pirkus-R, the Bluetooth bot with facial recognition skills

17 Mar 2006

KDDI R&D Laboratories and I Bee, K.K. have upgraded their Bluetooth-enabled bipedal walking robot, named Pirkus-R Type-01, with facial recognition capabilities. Equipped with a built-in CCD camera, the 29-cm (1-foot) tall personal (build-it-yourself) robot can spot faces that it would like to inspect at closer range. Pirkus-R is able to self-correct its direction as it makes its approach, and once it captures a facial image, it can determine whether or not the person is registered in its file.

Pirkus-R Type-01

I Bee was responsible for developing the robot, which can be controlled from an au Bluetooth-enabled handset (W21T/W31T/W41T) using a BREW application. As I Bee continues to develop Pirkus-R?s control and facial recognition technology and the 8-bit CPU that links the robot with the handset, the price (250,000 yen for the deluxe model) may start to come down.

The robot?s facial recognition technology is based on technology that KDDI developed for mobile phones. KDDI has improved upon previous facial recognition technology, which used to require you to position your face directly in front of the camera in order to be recognized. Other problems with the human-robot interaction have been addressed, including lighting-related problems that occurred when capturing images. Pirkus-R is able to automatically detect which direction you are facing, and is no longer at the mercy of variations in lighting conditions. Furthermore, because it is equipped with Bluetooth technology, you can use your BREW-enabled au handset to check Pirkus-R?s operating status and facial recognition results. Of course, you can control it from your phone, too.

Pirkus-R Type-01 is scheduled to appear at the Robo-One fights being held this weekend (March 17 to 19) at Panasonic Center Tokyo.

(See videos here)

UPDATE 31/Mar/2006: Tempusmaster at www.robots-dreams.com has posted video of Pirkus-R in action (sort of) at Robo-One. The video suggests a need for further improvements to Pirkus-R's facial recognition capabilities. (Link)

[Sources: IT Media, Robot Labs]