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The lack of hands for performing various tasks can be successfully compensated by the second pair of limbs. Developers from Keio University (Tokyo, Japan) have developed an extra pair of hands – MetaLimbs – that is controlled by the feet of the gadget’s owner. The limbs are fastened behind the user’s back in a special backpack.

A high-speed train station in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou is where a police robot, E-Robot Patrol Sheriff, works. He is entrusted with lots of tasks, but the main one is the security of its citizens. Thanks to the technology of face recognition, the RoboCop is able to seek and prosecute criminals and suspicious people using a sketch.

Manufacturers are trying to create the most user-friendly, compact and thus useful companion robot, whose appearance and functionality would satisfy most consumers. Currently, many sketches of artists and designers are difficult to implement for various reasons, and yet companies are already trying to find the form factor, which will be kindly received by the public. Panasonic, a Japanese electronics corporation, has long been engaged in the development and production of robots, and its latest achievement, Desktop Companion Robot, looks like an egg. It is able to move at the speed of up to 3.5 km/h and articulates a child’s voice to communicate with people. According to the manufacturer, its voice can affect the interaction between people and the robot favorably.

Chinese journalist robot named Xiao Nan wrote his first news article that the local Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper did not hesitate to publish. The article consists of 300 hieroglyphic characters and contains a coherent text on traffic problems in the region caused by preparing for the celebration of Chinese New Year. But the main intrigue is that the journalist robot coped with the editor’s task in just 1 second.

It is not an easy task to teach bipedal robots to keep balance while walking on any terrain. A few years ago, experts from Oregon State University (US) demonstrated their achievement in this area – a bulky robot called ATRIAS (Assume The Robot Is A Sphere). Its structure, skills, self-balancing and walking were inspired by running birds, the ostrich in particular.

The scientists had been continuously improving their scientific research, but the developers from Agility Robotics presented an improved version called Cassie two years later. The robot is deprived of the body (in the usual sense of the word), the head and manipulator hands. This solution helped to optimize its navigation on rough surfaces and improve its self-balancing.

According to Jonathan Hurst, associate professor of robotics at the Department of the University of Oregon, they are not trying to duplicate an animal’s appearance, but pay attention to the methods that animals use for efficient and sustainable movement. In the future, the robots following bipedal Cassie will contribute to the delivery service, perform dangerous tasks in disaster areas or intelligence. As the developers say, Cassie’s price will be much lower than that of humanoid robots.

New developments in the field of design, battery capacity, limb physiology and computing allowed to make Cassie significantly more maneuverable in comparison with ATRIAS. In addition, new materials making up its components and the body are more durable and they will not be damaged when the robot falls – there is nothing to be broken or fractured.

The scientists at Harvard University created the first robot that does not need power supply, a motor, batteries or accumulators. The soft robot is named Octobot because it looks like an octopus, with its body parts driven by means of the released gas that accumulates inside the silicone body as a result of a chemical reaction.

Double Robotics Company has figured out how to make it easier to shoot 360-degree videos. The developers have created a robot called 360 Camera Dolly that is similar to a Segway or a telepresence robot, but instead of a person or a tablet, the device is transporting a camera. The undoubted advantage of the invention is that the operator, if desired, can avoid appearing in the video – Camera Dolly 360 is controlled by using a smartphone on iOS via Bluetooth, LTE/4G or Wi-Fi online.

The US Hanson Robotics company has recently showed a robot with a woman’s face named Sofia. The skin on the face and neck is made of the elastic synthetic Frubber material, simulating the skin. Beneath this fake skin, there are miniature motors, which are responsible for the robot’s facial expressions. Due to the cameras, built in the eyes and the Character Engine AI software the robot remembers the interlocutor, recognizes speech and knows how to take part in a relaxed conversation. During the conversation, Sofia is able to reflect emotions on its face. According to the developers, it performs 62 facial movements at this stage. If a person gets silent at some moment, but his/her face remains sad or funny, the robot will notice this and react accordingly.