[FoRK] Bot wars: Toyota vs. Honda

Geege geege4 at bellsouth.net
Fri Mar 12 04:52:23 PST 2004


you NEED one, dammit.


(two m's when you contract)

-----Original Message-----
From: fork-bounces at xent.com [mailto:fork-bounces at xent.com]On Behalf Of
jbone at place.org
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2004 4:45 PM
To: FoRK
Subject: [FoRK] Bot wars: Toyota vs. Honda



Yeah, but I want a sex bot, damnit.

--

	http://www.forbes.com/home_asia/newswire/2004/03/11/rtr1294576.html

Toyota trumpets in robot era with a happy tune
Reuters, 03.11.04, 5:06 AM ET

Electrical/Electronics  Automobiles


TOKYO, March 11 (Reuters) - It might not be cute and cuddly like Sony's 
mechanical dog, Aibo, or a hula dancer like Honda's humanoid, Asimo, 
but Toyota's yet-to-be-named robot is not afraid to blow its own horn.

Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> on Thursday unveiled two robots -- one with 
legs and the other with wheels -- that it is developing for Expo 2005, 
to be held in central Japan next March. It showed video of a third 
machine that could one day rival the wheelchair.

A 1.2 metre (four foot) high droid wowed a group of journalists by 
playing a trumpet version of "When you wish upon a star" and the theme 
song from a popular Japanese comedy show.

Toyota, the world's second-biggest auto maker, said it had no definite 
plans on how it would commercialise the robots, but said developing the 
technology helped other aspects of its business.

"This technology can be used in many situations. It can enhance safety. 
There are still some jobs that we don't want humans doing, but maybe we 
can now change that," Toyota President Fujio Cho told a news 
conference. Honda Motor Co Ltd's <7267.T> robot, Asimo, can walk 
forward and backward, climb stairs and even hula dance. Honda said it 
did not have any immediate plans to sell Asimo, but the droid is 
available on a rental basis.

Sony Corp's <6758.T> robot ventures have been a bigger commercial 
success. Aibo, the company's robot dog, sold out in stores when it 
debuted in 1999 and still maintains a strong following.

Toyota showed off three different types of robot.

One is a "walking" type that Toyota said could be used to assist the 
elderly. Another is a "rolling" type that may be well suited for the 
factory floor, the auto maker said.

The third model is a "mountable" type that can carry passengers using 
two mechanical legs. It uses a hand-operated lever for steering.

Asked by reporters why the droids didn't have names, a Toyota executive 
in charge of the robots' development said it was taking suggestions and 
joked that they might be called "Fujio" and "Shoichiro", the first 
names of Toyota's current president and a former president, Shoichiro 
Toyoda.

Toyota said that while it had been developing robots for only two and a 
half years, most of the technology derived from its automation 
equipment used at its car factories.

The auto maker has been working with group companies Denso Corp 
<6902.T> and Toyoda Machine Works Ltd <6206.T> as well as technology 
firms NEC Corp <6701.T> and Yaskawa Electric Corp <6506.T> on robot 
development.

Shares of Toyota closed down 0.26 percent at 3,870 yen on Thursday, 
compared to a 1.19 percent fall on the Nikkei 225 average <.N225>.

Copyright 2004, Reuters News Service




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