"Are you lost?" A guide robot in Japan
If you go astray at the shopping mall in Osaka, Japan, one white robot will approach to you and help you to find a right direction to go.
ATR(Advanced Telecommunications Research) Institute International, in Japan have tried to answer to this question since 1998.
"What type of Robot will be efficient to communicate with human being?"
Finally they invented social robot called "Robovie" and opened to public in Osaka from 22nd to 24th of January, 2008. Robovie has ability to have a basic conversation with human with soft non verbal communication like gesture, eye contact. Besides, Robovie's body is made of silky silicone skin and warm body heat like real human being.
With six laser sensors of distance, RFID(Radio Frequency Identification) leader equipments and sixteen cameras, Robovie is capable of comprehending people's status, which means this robot knows who is walking slowly, who is waiting for someone, and who gets lost. With this amazing ability, Robovie approaches to someone who seems like went astray, and tell him/her the way to go to destination.
The purpose of making this robot, according to Norihiro Hagita, the director of ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories(IRC)and ATR Media Information Science Laboratories(MIS), is proving that "Robot is media existing physically". In other words, Robovie is the actual existence as communication tool being able to interact with human being.