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Newly Developed CollaBot Paves the Way for Social Robots

A research group headed by Dr. Sona Kwak from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST; President Seok Jin Yoon) presented the newly-developed “CollaBot" and received the best award in the category of “hardware, design, and interface” at the Robot Design Competition hosted by the International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR) 2022, which was conducted at the Chamber of Commerce in Florence, Italy (December 13th to 16th, 2022).

Newly Developed CollaBot Paves the Way for Social Robots
CollaBot: robotic library. Image Credit: Korea Institute of Science and Technology.

Earlier studies on social robots were mainly based on humanoid robots that can understand the context of encounters and offer a range of situation-specific services.

Regardless, the commercialization of humanoid robots with the ability to execute tasks similar to, if not above, those of an actual human has been restrained; there are reports that humanoid robots do not function as well as expected.

Furthermore, since robotic products concentrate entirely on a particular function, they are unable to offer an extensive range of assistance that has been adapted to the environment and situation of the consumer.

For such limitations to be fulfilled, the research group headed by Dr. Kwak (KIST) came up with a robotic library system (CollaBot) that comprehends situational context by combining data gathered by numerous robotic products and also provides context-customized assistance.

This system, including lights, chairs, tables, and bookshelves, offers a human-robot interaction depending on the collaborations happening between various robotic products.

The system environment is elaborated as follows: the user’s door, smartphone, robotic bookshelf, and robotic chair are all linked; hence, the user can search for and choose a book of interest on their smartphone. The selected book will be taken from the bookshelf in an automatic manner.

The chair works as a ladder by shifting near to the user and allowing the user to step on it or a cart by transporting various books. Alternatively stated, besides executing its actual function, each system component also changes its function based on the surrounding to provide user-friendly help.

The proposed robotic system based on the collaboration between various robotic products provides physical assistance by applying robotics technology to the existing Internet of things to create a hyper-connected society. We expect that this type of system that offers practical assistance in our daily lives can pioneer a novel robotics market.

Dr. Dahyun Kang, Korea Institute of Science and Technology

Kang developed the interaction of CollaBot.

The 2023 Robot Design Competition at the 13th ICSR was headed by the award chair, Amit Kumar Pandey, who took part in the development of key social robots such as Sophia, Nao, and Pepper.


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