Jan. 28 - Swiss scientists are preparing to unveil a humanoid robot which they say represents a future in which automotons co-exist naturally with people. Called ''Roboy'', the robot has been designed to function much like a person, for use as a helper in the factory or the home. Basmah Fahim has more.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**FOR USE OF ROBOY MATERIAL PLEASE COURTESY AWTEC AG.AI LAB, ~ Meet Roboy, a robot designed to look and behave like a human. Scientists at the University of Zurich's Artificial Intelligence lab, have given themselves just nine months to build him - and he's almost ready to be unveiled in public. What makes Roboy different to other humanoid robots is the way he moves. He's being developed to walk like a human through the use of what Professor Rolf Pfeiffer calls, tendon driven technology. (SOUNDBITE) PROFESSOR ROLF PFEIFER, DIRECTOR OF ZURICH'S ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) LAB, SAYING: "Traditionally most robots have motors in their joints. But humans don't have motors in their joints and we try to be more realistic in terms of imitating human beings. Humans have bones, joints, muscles and tendons, so this is also called a tendon driven robot." It took six months to build Roboy's torso. Modelled on human anatomy it has a flexible spinal chord. But Roboy wont be confined to a lab - scientists envisage a future where automotons like Roboy work in factories or in homes helping the elderly. (SOUNDBITE) PROFESSOR ROLF PFEIFER, DIRECTOR OF ZURICH'S ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) LAB, SAYING: "It can be used in a household environment, in can be used in a manufacturing environment, wherever we co-operate with people and I think this co-operation is very important. the human-robot, human-machine, co-operation. Providing technology, also we often talk about the ageing population, providing technology that will help the people to be autonomous for as long as possible." At 1.2 metres tall not only will Roboy move like a human, but he'll also be programmed to recognise people's faces. Several research institiutions and private companies are involved in the project. But the team here are looking to the public to raise funds so that Roboy can be brought to life. They're using crowdfunding, and offering the chance for companis to have their logos etched on the humanoid's body. Roboy will be unveiled in March at a Robotics Expo in Zurich, where his creators hope he'll put his best foot forward. .