New pint-sized robot can help with chores around the house, and assist in emergencies
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, are developing child-sized, wheeled robots that could soon start helping elderly people in their homes. Computer scientist Rod Grupen, who led the team that developed uBot-5, notes that robots are finally safe and inexpensive enough to perform a real function in homes. The robot has an LCD screen, a webcam, and a wireless connection to the Internet. It speeds around and balances on two Segway-like wheels. If it does happen to fall, though, uBot-5 uses its long arms to do a push-up, and return itself to an upright position.