Robotic rings for wearable robotic interaction
These robotic rings that imitate eye and mouth movements are being developed by a research group at Keio University.
"When you wear this robot on your hand, it forms a medium for communication using the hand. So the robot serves as a device for enhancing the animal-like, imitative ways that people use their hands."
"The robot has electromagnetic motors in the eyes, which are controlled electrically. This bottom part contains a microcontroller to move the eyes, and a battery."
"Until now, robots have usually communicated with people from a distance. That's also true of pet robots like AIBO, and androids. Until now, robots haven't been attached to the human body. We've designed this ring-shaped robot as an entertaining communication device, like an accessory that's fun to wear, to help wearable robots progress beyond the research stage."
At present, the robot is controlled using a special-purpose microcontroller and a PC. But future improvements should enable it to sense motion by the wearer and people nearby, so it can move automatically.
"First of all, this device resembles a toy. So we want to make it more like a character, like when children or their parents play finger games. That would enable a new form of interactive play. We'd also like to incorporate this robot into the way children use their hands to communicate with each other."
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