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Inventor: Tohoku University, Nomura Unison Group, TroisO Co. Ltd.
Availability: Prototype only
To Learn More: www.irs.mech.tohoku.ac.jp/top.html
With a face modeled on Marilyn Monroe's and a long, flowing skirt to hide its three wheels, the Partner Ballroom Dance Robot is a 5-ft. 5-in. waltzing humanoid. Available in hot pink or blue, it has upper-body sensors that allow it to "predict" its partner's next steps. Dancing is just one application. "By interpreting users' movements to estimate what they want, care robots will be able to provide better service for the elderly who may be too sick or handicapped to give verbal orders," says bioengineering and robotics professor Kazuhiro Kosuge, one of the creators.
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