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  • What's new in my robots pages?

    Wednesday, apr. 6th, 2005 :
    Updated the Toys page with pictures and details for a few new toys.

    Sunday, feb. 6th, 2005 :
    Updated the Fujitsu, Nec and Promet pages with pictures, text and a video.

    Wednesday, sept. 8th, 2004 : BN-1
    Added a Bandai BN-1 page to my real robots collection. Also updated the Wonderborg page a bit.

    This feature will soon be available

    Banryu robot and Sanyo robots
    Sanyo is a world famous electronic devices manufacturer. They teamed up with the TMSUK company to develop the Banryu robot. Banryu is one of the very few commercially available domestic robot embedding AI software to act autonomously. By the time i write this, there are currently only 2 robots that meet those criterias : the famous AIBO dog robot from Sony, and Banryu.
    Beside this development, Sanyo is also working on it's own robot development program, like the Flatthru, presented below. However, no humanoid robot project was ever presented by Sanyo R&D.

    Guard Robot "BANRYU" Subtitled "Neo Dinosaur"
    Aka "Utility Robot T-735"

    In a very japanese way, the Banryu robot was given the manga-esque official nick name of "neo dinosaur"; at least for it's earliest versions. The "Banryu" name actually means "Guard Dragon", and, as the design suggests, the dragon inspiration did not stricly stick to the name.

    As a four-legged robot, Banryu is obviously not humanoid!
    One could compare it to Sony's Aibo, as for the appearance and home use at least. Although those two robots both have a dog shape and a four legged motion, that's as far as the comparison can get; since they both have very different goals. Where Aibo is an entertainment product, and aims at creating a friendly relationship with it's owner; Banryu instead focuses on security and Sanyo/Tmsuk's ambition is to make it the protector of our home.

    closeup of the Banryu head. It reminds me of 1980's video game featuring a mecha dragon! I'm always amazed to see how real products and imagination combine in certain japanese products.
    How this ambition can be reached is still unclear to me, despite having read several articles and press releases about the machine. Let's make it clear : what makes a dog efficient in guarding a house is that intruder will simply fear that the dog could bite. No more, no less. Banryu, as a home product, is obviously not design to hurt anyone...
    It's security features include detecting intrusion by the mean of numerous sensors and detectors (noise, odor, movement...), barkling and being able to move to the place where the intrusion was detected. It is also able to transmit information over the internet (visual data, situation data...). No what? Why would walking around on it's 4 legs make it more efficient than, say, a fixed camera/detectors system installed all over the house?
    I must confess that i do not actually understand the exact purpose of it, and i would not rely on it to guard my home. It will be interesting, however, to see how Sanyo and TMSUK will make the concept evolve in the coming years, and which use will their customers put it to.
    However, it's interesting to notice that Banryu is one of the very few domestic robot actually available on the consumer market in Japan.

    Left : later version of the Banryu guard robot. I do not know much about this one...

    Sanyo Flatthru

    Banryu is intended for domestic use, and so is Flatthru, a Sanyo (only) prototype that also aims at serving the family at home. I do not know much about this one... I see this robot as Sanyo's own R&D program for multi-purpose domestic robot, juste like the Nec Papero or the Mitsubishi Wakamaru are.