Robo Nexus 2004: spam is now but where’s Aibo?

robosapienThe robot exhibition held from October 21 to 23, 2004 in Santa Clara, the heart of Silicon Valley is always a good opportunity to take stock of a rapidly evolving sector. This exhibition, the largest of its kind, brings together the Convention Center of town all that is best in robots. Thousands of professionals and enthusiasts jostle for three days on the stands and conferences to identify trends and see the main news.The site of the exhibition gives a fairly good overview of the program particularly rich this year:

However, we must see to believe … Robotics is now and in all sectors. It is in the business for a long time, schools, hospitals, and between increasingly at home. It saves lives, makes war, builder of sophisticated monitors, entertains children and clean houses …
What are the major trends of the 2004 season?
First, the domestic robot .vgtv2
A section of the letter of the Workshop Thursday, October 21 revealed a study by the Economic Committee of the UN predicts that by 2007 there would be more than 8 million domestic robots. Whoever passes the vacuum is already well known to readers of the workshop and the listeners of The Digital Workshop on BFM. The major brands were represented, with its famous iRobot Roomba, a pioneer and leader in the field, Wany robotics. It is expected that most major brands of appliances, that is committed to lower prices that will make these robots available. Anyway, they were able to demonstrate their real impact on the stands of the show, and it’s a safe bet that we can more we spend the next few years. Impressive …

Another area related to home: the surveillance robot. Just like the Sony Aibo, it has a surveillance camera, access to the Internet via WiFi and can be controlled remotely via the Internet. Practice to ensure that children sleep when you’re out, or to ensure that everything goes well at home when it is moving.But in class domestic robot, the playful side that will win in the short term. Beyond the traditional toy robots, which have fascinated our childhoods (and there were some nice examples of collection), it’s probably the Robosapien to be the hero of Christmas for our little darlings. Aesthetics and functionality are the full appointment of the robot developed by a former NASA researcher, and will cost just under $ 100. Again, the proof speaks for itself: It unfolds gracefully, picking up objects, dancing …

Second category: the robot military .
Widely represented here, firms working for the military industry are showing prowess. They praised the stands of the most luxurious and demonstrate live its ability to evolve on the ground. Robots and other flying drones are not presented (we are inside ..), but demonstrations of robots on the ground, field operations, are striking and generate intense public curiosity.

The ability for one man to handle multiple miniature robots for both recognition for the work (mining, mine …) is awesome and terrible. The implications of robotics in the military field are immense and we had right of a quick overview. Confidentiality requires. If only the robots could kill each other instead of men on the field operations …

Then the robot “university” .Seldom far from the robot and the military medical robot also can be found here … for example the robot “muscle” for the surgical reconstruction and repair. The impact of robotics in the medical field are considerable. From the speech distance, Internet, micro cameras, from different … The robotic prostheses, sometimes combined with biotechnology and nanotechnology, holds some promise in the medical field. The show it is particularly echoed in professional conferences held in parallel.

SRI (Stanford Research Institute, “The Soul of Silicon Valley” by its motto …) has meanwhile demonstrated once again the performance of research by presenting his project Centibot: one hundred robots that can act in complete harmony to improve the urban surveillance. Based on Linux software, the robots can explore a map and share control of a building or a geographical area to ensure safety. Once is not custom, it is a French researcher of the IRS, Régis Vincent, who held the demonstration.

Finally, and most importantly, helpful robot savior of lives .
It was well represented at Robo Nexus. Not far from the work of the IRS, but out of cardboard and already in operation … One of the most beautiful demonstrations of the show is definitely coming of Canadian society Inuktun ( Founded in 1989, the company specializes in robotics applied to difficult locations (underground areas or landslide, underwater areas, confined spaces). One of these products – VGTV (for Variable Geometry Tracked Vehicle) – was widely shown during the search for survivors in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Extremely handy, its variable geometry enables access to the most confined and more rugged. Equipped with powerful lights and a camera, it allows rescuers to quickly visualize the survivors and to consider the best paths. Very simple to deploy and use, it is extremely effective and has attracted much admiration from a large public awareness. The new generation of VGTV can work in soft ground, under low visibility, extreme temperatures and submerged more than 10 meters deep. Lives saved in outlook. Hat …

Finally, the robot useless .
Robot weightlifter, dancing robot, robot ball launcher, soccer robot, robot sculpture turner robot, robot model … Developed by enthusiasts, or schools represented in large numbers here, for competitions or just shows in the U.S. . The happiness of the robot. Like a childhood scent that floats, and found so often in these great American events, whether robots, old cars, football or even jazz. The taste of the performance of the futility of a certain aesthetic combined with the technical, sharing and, always, a considerable number of hours given his passion. Professionalism grown up hobby.

But where’s Aibo?
Everyone waited with Sony on such a show … The latest generation of Aibo (ERS-7 for short), which all the press was widely echoed, was very natural place here. Especially since many of the companies behind the various software and systems that drive the robot pet dog were represented. But to Aibo not in sight. Sony he was afraid of comparisons with other gear, at least as powerful but much cheaper and perhaps more useful? However, it likes the Aibo