Cell Phone Controlled Robot Unveiled
Published on: 6th Oct 2002
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
Japan's Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a new robot for the home the MARON 1 which can be remotely controlled by a cell phone to operate home electronic appliances or monitor household security. The ambulatory prototype robot is equipped with a wide range of functions including telephone camera remote control timer and surveillance equipment. With these features for example it is envisioned that MARON 1 could be used for monitoring homes or offices at night or for checking up on persons requiring special care and monitoring. Fujitsu will be presenting details on the new robot at the Japan Robot Conference opening October 12 2002 at Osaka University.
Fujitsu's previous developments in the robotics field include HOAP-1, announced in September 2001. This robot, which was a test platform for bipedal locomotion, is now being distributed by Fujitsu Automation.
Maron-1 consists of a drive mechanism, a camera that can rotate left, right, up, and down, a programmable remote to control home electronic appliances, and a PHS communication card that, together with specially designed i-appli software - for use with DoCoMo handsets, enables the robot to be operated remotely by mobile phone.
With remote operation by mobile phone, the robot can take pictures and relay them to the phone's screen, so that the owner can check conditions at home. The owner can give precise commands for moving the robot forward, backward or turning in a desired direction. In addition, by storing the home's layout in the robot's memory, the owner can give the robot a destination, and it will automatically navigate to that point, avoiding obstacles and maneuvering over door saddles and other surface gradations along the way. Alternatively, a pattern may be established for it to patrol a designated course.
Images sent by the Maron-1 can also be used for specifying a destination. The robot's infrared remote control capability can be used to operate appliances such as air conditioners, televisions and VCRs.'"