QRIO - Pardon me?

Browsing the Sony homepage recently, I came across the "QRIO" (you might want to click on the HTML link and not FLASH as it looks like some power-hungry Mac user has made that version) that Sony seem to have slipped out without much of a fanfare last month. It looks like they weren't happy at sticking with pet dog robots and are going for something much more substantial this time - a singing, dancing, walking, talking rinky-dink humanoid pet robot. (well eventually anyway)

The technology looks really interesting and they've invented a new type of "actuator" to cope with the balancing act of walking on two feet that we humans take for granted every day. This has been a major area of research recently and a Japanese university team demonstrated last month a robot that could stand up on two feet from a lying flat on its back position within half a second or so. Unfortunately when they tried to show it to the press it fell over a few seconds after managing to stand up, but it shows that people are really trying to get this kind of stuff working. It seems Sony have a slower standing up mechanism but the robot can also react to other unbalancing forces (such as being pushed by a finger).

All in all, clever stuff, thumbs up Sony. Time to start saving up! (in the meantime, the new Aibo looks really cool!)

Posted by PixelJunk at 02:52 PM on Tue, 07 October 2003