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Robots in the spotlight
2013-November-21 Source: Shenzhen SEZ Daily website
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A robot that can make different movements in response to a human controller's brain functions is on display at Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center yesterday.

Visitors to the 15th China Hi-Tech Fair have a chance to see robots that can do much more than functions such as dancing, singing or completing household chores.

More than 200 types of robotic products are exhibited at this year's fair, and humanoid robots have been highlights of the scene at Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center in Futian District. Today is the fair's final day.

A robot developed by Beijing Easy Monitor Co., for example, can make different movements in response to a human controller's brain functions. Wu Yibing, the company's general manager, said the robot responds to brain waves resulting from different activities, such as concentration, memorization and excitement.

Wu said the robot can serve therapeutic functions for people with mental ailments such as insomnia, Internet addiction and depression. He said children can play a game in which robots respond to brain functions not normally associated with heavy Internet use or computer-gaming addiction, to develop and strengthen other parts of the children's brains.

Robots showcased by South Korean exhibitors drew cheers from crowds when they gave performances to the South Korean music hit "Gangnam Style."

A standing robot of nearly human height used a speech-recognition system to act as a receptionist, find requested locations and provide company to people.

The Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences showcased a number of robots, such as physical therapy robots that help people with disabilities walk, and cloth-based robots that can climb on soft materials.

Xiong Youjun, vice manager of Shenzhen Union Brother Technology Co., said his company is developing core technologies intended to give families easier access to humanoid robots because of reduced costs and more operational conveniences.

Xiong said the unit price of a robot made by his company is 3,000 yuan (US$489) to 4,000 yuan, cheaper than some humanoid robots imported from Japan, South Korea and Germany, which can cost more than 10,000 yuan.

He said people of all ages can easily design programs for the robots as long as they can click a computer mouse - a step forward from previous generations of robots that could only do what was initially programmed.

"The robots can do movements customized by different users, such as dancing, boxing and playing ball games. People can create DIY robots," he said.

Wu Xinyu, director of the intelligent bionic center of the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said robotic engineers are developing more practical functions, such as household appliances that can finish all kinds of housework.


Editor: 张斯
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