Can you ever imagine robots that can not only assist you but empathize with you on emotional issues as well? The same thought was at the back of creators who designed Mimus, a 12, 00 kgs industrial robot that is capable of sensing as well as responding the human movements. It is a combination of engineering ingenuity and art-installation. Mimus was derived from a robot called ABB IRB 6700 and was commissioned for exhibit called “Fear and Love” that took place at the Design Museum. The exhibition is held here with a single objective of promoting the association between machines and humans. The creator of this robot also makes a note that this specific machine works more like a “she” and not an “it”
Most industrial robots are designed to do monotonous tasks, however, Mimus is spontaneous and has no such pre-planned movements. The creators have programmed to explore the space around it freely and respond to visitors. The exhibit designers wished to mimic the experience of watching an animal in the zoo and have fun. It was housed inside a glass enclosure and instilled with infrared depth sensors that were placed over the ceiling, Mimus can easily move close to visitors that she thinks are interesting and iterates their movements.
Mimus can easily detect people with a software that puts together the sensor data in a single point-cloud that communicates with enclosure perimeter. It then makes use of markerless sensor technology that can track the basic gestures of visitors from a distance of 500mm to 2.2 meters. It doesn’t matter whether a single person visits it or a crowd, once it registers the basic attributes of a person it keeps it with it forever. It then processes these attributes and selects the most interesting person. It is a changeable view and you may see that Mimus is more allured to people with small height like kids, while she can react to some taller people some other day. She gets bored soon, so the person she is attracted to needs to keep her engaged or she will move to someone else.
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