Smart robots on display in Spain

CIOL Bureau
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SPAIN: Robots with the ability to dance like Michael Jackson, defuse bomb and perform household works were displayed at a technology conference in this Spanish city.


Some 300 robotic researchers from 25 countries took part in the "Robotics: Science and Systems" conference held at the Zaragoza Auditorium.

The event, which was attended by the representatives from US space agency NASA and top notch technology firms like Google and Microsoft, was held to discuss the future generation of robots, said Professor Jose Neira, president of the organising committee.

Predicting about future robots is difficult, though Neira said movies and television in many ways decide what the advances in the sector are going to be.


For example, auto giant Volkswagen is working to develop a car based on the model of an ultramodern vehicle shown in a television series "Knight Rider", he said.

The US firm Willow Garage presented its android PR2, demonstrating how it can help people with their domestic chores, including folding a pile of clothes and storing them.

While Nao, a 58-centimetre-tall creation of the French firm Aldebaran Robotics, can copy the difficult dance moves from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, the small robot will have a successor in Romeo, a prototype 1.5 metre-tall that the firm will have ready in October 2011 to help people with disabilities.

Besides, the exhibition had the most advanced robotic hand, produced by the US firm Barrett Technology, which can pick up an egg without breaking it, and Summit, developed by Spanish firm Robotnik with the ability to defuse explosives.

Demonstration with volunteers controlling the robots' movement wearing electrode caps were also part of the event at the University of Zaragoza.