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Fujitsu debuts humanoid robot

PC World

By Martyn Williams

(IDG) -- Fujitsu's latest robot is ready to stand on its own two feet. On Monday the company began selling a two-legged humanoid robot designed to serve as a test bed for research into more advanced robotic technologies.

The HOAP-1 was developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, the company's research and development arm, and Fujitsu Automation. Priced at around $41,400, Fujitsu hopes to sell about a hundred of the robots over the next three years. INFOCENTER
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"It is meant for universities who want to do research on two-legged walking and robotic movement," says Scott Ikeda, a spokesperson for Fujitsu. "They can use it for research, such as developing algorithms for more natural two-legged movement."

The robot looks something like a scaled-down version of Honda Motor's Asimo with its flat feet, wide chest, and visor-like head.

At almost 19 inches tall and weighing approximately 16 pounds, the HOAP-1 is small enough to be portable. The robot is controlled from a personal computer via a Universal Serial Bus cable and features 20 degrees of freedom.

In putting the device on sale, Fujitsu joins the ranks of Japanese electronics companies selling such robots. The most successful to date has been Sony, which began selling its Aibo entertainment robot in June 1999 and put on sale its third-generation models last week.

Honda Motor's Asimo humanoid robot, which has also been through several face-lifts, is not yet on sale, but has been lauded for its smooth and life-like movements. NEC also entered the market in 1999, along with Sony, when it released its R100 Personal Robot.

• Fujitsu

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