Recently, the geniuses at Sugano Laboratory of Waseda University unveiled their latest creation, Twendy One, a household robot that can understand instructions and help with household chores. What household chores? Almost anything like getting a bottle from the fridge, using thongs to lift bread from toaster onto plate and carrying a tray of food from kitchen to dining table.
Twendy lifting a bread from the toaster with thongs. Looks like she doesn’t want to get her hands burnt
What really blew me out about Twendy though was how she can understand HUMAN instructions and remember the location of things. At the start of the demonstration video, the man wakes up from his sleep and calls out to Twendy. Twendy responses (with a greeting) and moves towards the bed awaiting the next instruction. The man then tells Twendy he wants to get onto his wheelchair located next to the bed. Twendy then offers both her arms which the man holds onto before Twendy lifts him onto his wheelchair. That’s not all, this intelligent robot has sensors all over to detect pressure not only on her hands but body as well. If you think Twendy is too close, just give her a slight push and she will slowly move backwards.
Twendy lifting handicapped man to wheelchair
As this is an ultra new technology, Twendy’s response is still a little delayed. This is because before she picks up an object, her sensors will attempt to gauge the size of the object so that her hands can be maneuvered to grip the object tightly. Trust me, these sensors are cutting edge. She grabbed a sauce bottle from the fridge and it didn’t even slip.
Twendy is really a household robot that is especially useful for the disabled and elderly (AND lazyheads like myself). As I was watching the video, a list of pre-programmed commands were already brewing in my head.
1. Prepare toast bread and cereals, place onto dining table by 9am.
2. Switch on Su Yuen’s favourite classical music
3. Wake Su Yuen up
4. Pack Su Yuen’s bed
5. While Su Yuen is having breakfast, read out her schedule for the day
6. Clean up dishes after Su Yuen is done eating
7. Do Su Yuen’s laundry
and the list goes on and on… Seriously, even if she is slow, it is perfectly fine because it saves me the trouble of doing it. (to tell you the truth, I procrastinate on my chores a LOT).
When will Twendy become a part of our lives? My guess is 5 years for them to fine tune the AI and start mass production.