Robots

ZMP Nuvo: A Mass Produced Biped

Posted 3 Mar 2004 at 22:58 UTC by steve Share This

ZMP of Japan is probably best known for selling assembled and kit versions of the GPL'd Open PINO humanoid robot. Now, ZMP has announced a the ZMP Nuvo Biped that will be mass produced for consumers. Nuvo is 39cm tall, weighs in at 2.5kg, and will retail for about $4,600. The robot can walk, stand up if it falls, includes a CCD camera, and communicates via cell phone. Stories have been showing up in all the major news outlets but these seem to have the best assortment of photos: Red Nova, Future Technology News, The Japan Times, Asahi.com, and the The Hindu International. And, of course, there's the inevitable Slashdot story.

Not very useful, posted 4 Mar 2004 at 02:55 UTC by Kiryu » (Master)

I have looked over their design, and although it is novel, this is not a very useful robot for home applications. The only reason to make a biped for the home is so that it can maneuver up/down stairs, around objects, etc. This thing is not tall enough to walk up a single stair. They could have saved money and produced a rolling robot with all of the same features. Plus, why have arms if all they do is move up/down? I think that the development team was shooting for a worthwile home robot, but the high cost ultimately made them make compromises that left the final product useful for little more than entertainment. But at 4,000 dollars, they could hardly bill this robot as entertainment-only, so they kept the "home robot" title.

I am glad to see things moving in this direction, but robots like this only hurt the image of other companies developing such products. As a side note, I am sure someone will say, "then you make a better one!" My response, "Don't worry, we are working on it!"

Starting to be useful, posted 4 Mar 2004 at 09:27 UTC by Timster » (Master)

For US$4000 you'd hope that it would have some utility. But even Aibo for less than half the price can take pictures and email them to you as a fledgling security device.

Until Nuvo, and Aibo can actually "do more" I think you may as well buy an upcoming Samsung VC-RP30W, which will be able to vacuum (and know where its doing it since it maps your home ceilings rather than just running in a random patterns like the Roomba) and has a web cam for spying on your kids or doing the same security functions that Nuvo and Aibo do.

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