Twenty-One, this century’s improvement on a bot named Wendy, has been designed to help the disabled and elderly. She has fingers that grip, strength to support patients, and movements that respond to human touch. Shigeki Sugano, head of the Waseda University team that created her, says, “It’s the first robot in the world with this much system integration. It’s difficult to balance strength with flexibility.”
Twenty-One can speak and features 241 pressure-sensors in each hand to make her flexible. During a demonstration this week, she successfully put toast on a plate, went to get ketchup, and said good morning to the recipient of both. With only 15 minutes of battery life, the bot may be around by 2015 with a price of ~$200,000. At a size of about 5 feet and a weight of 245 lbs., we are thinking that Twenty-One might want to back off a bit from the carbs.
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