Sanyo's Hopis: Medical Robot for the Consumer MarketElectronic company Sanyo has developed a robot that will assist doctors in hospitals and nursing homes. Hopis comes equipped with speech capabilities, thermometers, vision sensors and glucose meters.
- The stakes are high. Carmaker Honda believes that robots will become its most important business.
- If Honda and other proponents are correct, the size of the robotics industry could end up overtaking industry.
- Japan has suffered from the longest economic slump ever, but this has not stopped the country's industrial giants from investing millions in developing consumer robots.
- Aibo and Honda's Asimo have grabbed most of the headlines, but Japanese companies are developing practical robots that will be cheap, convenient and ubiquitous
- Japan's preoccupation with consumer robots is largely driven by economic imperatives.
- The robot can be programmed to remind its "master" to take medicine, and calls for help if it detects unusual sounds or movements in the house.
- The robot will hit the market early next year with an expected retail price of $14,250.
- The development of a standard robot platform could simply be a matter of time, but Linux cannot yet claim victory.
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