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Taiwan ­niversity Students Build Tour Guide Robot

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Hsiao Mei the robot

Credit: National Taiwan University

Engineering students at National Taiwan University recently demonstrated a robot that is capable of creating two- and three-dimensional maps of an area and then providing guided tours.

During the demonstration in a campus museum, the group used a wireless remote control during the initial run-through, in which the robot, named Hsiao Mei by the group, created a map of the museum floor and then was able to maneuver throughout the floor on its own. The robot uses laser light similar to radar to determine the depth and dimensions of rooms and the location of objects, and laser mapping and global positioning system technology enable it to navigate corners and obstacles.

The team designed the robot to raise or lower its head to speak more directly to humans, using a charge-coupled device in its eyes. It is also capable of showing facial expressions such as happiness, surprise, and sadness. Maps and other data are displayed via a liquid crystal display touchscreen on its back. The robot moves on wheels and is three feet tall. The team plans to make improvements to the guided mapping technology and the robot.

From IDG News Service
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