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. South Korea Claims World's Smartest Robot

This undated handout photo released 06 January 2005 in Seoul shows what a team of South Korean experts claim is the world's first network-based humanoid. The robot is supposed to be highly intelligent and capable of walking, shaking hands and chatting with people.
by Park Chan-Kyong
Seoul, South Korea (SPX) Jan 07, 2005
South Korean scientists said Thursday they had developed the world's smartest robot able to think and learn like a human.

Unveiling their creation, they said the robot that looks like a small teenager wearing a blue and grey space suit was the first wireless network-based human-like robot.

It can become wiser through learning because unlike other robots, the device is linked with an outside computer through a high-speed wireless telecom network, and is able to exchange information with the server and respond quickly to real-life environments.

"This is the first network-based humanoid in the world," said You Bum-Jae of the state-financed Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), introducing the 150-centimeter (60 inches)-high robot weighing 67 kilogrammes (147 pounds).

"We developed this humanoid focusing on intelligence capability by taking advantage of networking technology in which South Korea is strong," he said.

Unlike already-developed humanoids whose intelligence capabilities are largely fixed with built-in circuits, the network-based humanoid relies on its outside server whose capacity can be expanded easily.

Equipped with visual and force sensors, the new robot detects movements and speech, then sends the data to the server for processing and receives directions allowing it to interact with people and the environment.

At the unveiling here, the robot replied to New Year greetings from a TV commentator and shook hands with him.

It can recognize its master, detect and analyze visual and audio signals, and people's movements.

When showed a 10,000 won (10 dollars) bank note, it said: "That's a 10,000 bank note that people would like to have."

When asked about its name, it said: "I am sorry. I don't have a name yet. Please give me one."

Then it waved its hands, saying: "I will see you again next time when I will have become wiser."

Its creators say the new robot's ability to move and walk lags behind that of the ASIMO developed by Honda of Japan. It can walk to and fro and diagonally at a maximum speed of 0.9 kilometers (0.56 miles) per hour while ASIMO is capable of running at a speed of three kilometers per hour.

The new robot is an amalgam of various technologies including those for real-time data transmission, visual, audio and force sensors as well as high-speed processing.

"Aside from enhancing its intelligence, we will make efforts to develop its capability of recognizing objects and handling them," said You of KIST.

"This robot could be used in the future as an assistant at home and offices who is highly intelligent and always ready to serve you."

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Pittsburgh PA (SPX) Dec 16, 2004
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