Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2014.
The plot of the TV channel "Russia Today" about russian robots.
RBOT Festival at the Museum of Cosmonautics
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Robot in Minsk
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Anthropomorphic robots are still largely amuse audiences, advertising products, but the potential of this market is much broader. Who have already knocked a leader?
In 1st grade school № 586 on Vasilievsky Island in St. Petersburg this fall appeared new. On the lessons he stands in the aisle between the desks, and at recess playing with all the corridor. This so-called telepresence robot: it is ruled out of the house via the Internet Max, got a compression fracture of the spine, it will come to school only one year. He looks at the world through the eyes of the robot, and in a class all see it through the monitor on the robot chest feedback provided. At first the children were trying to ape, the director Elena Zinchenko, but now it is for them the most common student – “just unfortunate that naked think sew shape.” To the robot, which cost 206 000 rubles (in St. Petersburg of the past six), you can connect a few people: Zinchenko wants to lead him through seminars for colleagues. Hands of the robot yet: its creator Alexey Knyazev saved, but promises to make up for the lack of the spring.
Prince began with “shmotochnogo business” engaged in rooms on the Internet (the business he then bought a “Megaphone”), and then moved to the cameras for the police. So his company had all the necessary Techvision to translate the dream of robot people: programmers, technologists, etc. Since 2005, when the creation of the robot, they divide the time between cameras and robotics. Anthropomorphic robot Knyazev – a distant goal, but to stake out a place in the market right now, he made a simple and cheap device as possible. Progress is: Knyazev recently identified as a separate legal entity company “Epoch robots” (assembly, sale and rental of robots, development remained at the parent company RBot), which is obliged to live independently.
Development cost, he said, “a few million dollars,” but the cost of the cheapest robot only 35 000-40 000 (sale price – 100 000 rubles). All parts in RBot draw on the computer in his own laboratory – basement in northern Moscow, printed on the 3D-printer and sent to a factory in China: they manufacture much cheaper than ours. Electronic boards RBot develops in Russia: Knyazev as an experiment gave the same terms of reference for programmers in China, USA, India and Russia, and our managed quickly. In Russia, however, is the assembly. Robot, even though simple, requires a powerful logistics: on a table at Knyazev A3 sheet with a complex pattern of lines and circles with the names of dozens of countries, from which come RBot details.
Knyazevsky robot like a penguin: round flaring body with wheels above – neck and rotating head with a TV camera. Penguin managed laid in a program or a remote operator: turning on the computer, Knyazev is connected to the robot standing on the charge in California office RBot, makes him drive off from the wall, and then to find it yourself.
Robots RBot Alexey Knyazev know how much, even “learn” in the usual shkoleFoto Boris Zharkova for Forbes
In two years, the company has sold Knyazev “hundreds more, but less than a thousand robots.” How much is this money? In 2012, the company has sold more than 80 robots average price of $ 5000-6000, so that a sale of $ 0.5 million addition, RBot served approximately 120 events, which has leased from 1 to 4 robots at $ 1,000 a day (with More Life – discount). This is a quarter-million, amounting to $ 750 000. Knyazev, in an interview with Forbes admitted that revenue from robots this year, “less than a million dollars, but not much.” It is almost 10% of the turnover of its technology division of the company (the other 90% – production of electro-optical systems).
The main application of this technique – not schools, and marketing, now being negotiated to supply dozens of robots in MTS sales offices, prepare, says Knyazev, shipments to the U.S.. The first container with the robots had to go there in December. Among the buyers of the past year – the Savings Bank and the Kazakh unit. Organizational know-how Knyazev – provide robots with a remote operator works, mostly disabled, like the prince, a few years ago was in a serious car accident.
Simple and complex. Create the best humanoid robots long remained the prerogative of the state, law enforcement agencies and large corporations. The means of the Korean government to build a robot Hubo, who can make their way through debris and ride a scooter. 130-inch Asimo, clad in plastic panels, 30 years living on the money Honda: current 11th generation is able to run at a speed of 6 km / h, avoid obstacles, to understand the commands from a person coffee and biscuits, to play football. Petman – awesome type in army boots, reminiscent of the Terminator – created by Boston Dynamics for the U.S. Army. But gradually the situation began to change in the business there were small producers. In 2005, the French IT-specialist Bruno Mesons set up an independent company Aldebaran Robotics, has managed to attract millions of dollars (including $ 13 million from Intel) and creates a small android Nao, sold around the world for a number of 3,000.
The fact that the robots will live among the people, does not mean that they have to copy them – supports RBot Mail.ru Group CEO Dmitry Grishin, this summer, based on their own resources ($ 25 million) investment company Grishin Robotics. The market is coming boom akin to computer, Grishin sure, however, that demand was born, the robot has to “look cool” and it does not cost more than $ 2000-3000. Summer Grishin has invested $ 250,000 in the company Double Robotics. Her robots live among the people and communicate with them, but the design is even simpler than that Knyazev – a 2-wheel trolley with inserted it telescopic rod, which is fixed iPad. Operator’s commands passed over the Internet, trolley rides, and iPad is changing altitude. All the fun is worth $ 2,000 and can work from home and there is almost normal communication – talk to colleagues, to call the office to the head, stand on the briefing. On January 2013 the first deliveries are scheduled. In December Grishin announced investment is $ 250,000 – now in infrastructure, created by enthusiasts robotics company Elad Inbar RobotAppStore, which are laid out on the site (mostly free) are hundreds of programs to improve the functionality of any robots – from vacuum cleaners to automatic androids.
“Six hundred”. Alexander Permyakov Magnitogorets did not start with robots: in the 1990s he and his friends – came from Minatom created the company “Recycling ammunition”: develops explosives for geologists, building mini-factories for its destruction. At one time on the staff were more than 800 people, but eight years ago, began to reduce Permyakov businesses that do not require the application of brains, and look for the “big idea for decades to come.” Industrial robots did not interest him: the world around us is created for a person says with conviction businessman – houses and furniture, cars and planes, drills and saws. Therefore humanoid robot – the most universal mechanism: it can make coffee, vacuum the apartment, unscrew the wheel of the car, replacing the narrowly directed mechanisms. Moreover, it can work where there is a person undesirable: the high radiation, to fires, to seal the compartment space station. In 2005 Permyakov created as part of the company division “of android technology.” Now it accounts for about 200 million rubles – a third of the total turnover of business Permyakova.
The first anthropomorphic robot – built in 2008, 40-inch AR-200 – was able to walk, dance, move your hands, saying, “see” objects and based on this vision to navigate in space. But most importantly, the range of possible actions, in principle, was boundless: Robots perform incorporated new programs and training activities would simply write another program. The same scheme works Nao French and many others. “We were conceived and attraction – gives the example Permyakov. – Build a model of ski resort, made skis, they have climbed the hill and leave, and so the circle. ” Model failed to capitalize: it leased to showcase its tourism potential of the government of North Ossetia.
To develop robots Alexander Permyakov spends hundreds of millions rubleyFoto Boris Zharkova for Forbes
AR-200 cost about one million rubles, has sold 400 copies. They bought the equipment for his museum at Riga station in Moscow Railways, acquired schools to teach students programming, and became the main purchasers of the company – in advertising. A dozen bought chain of Japanese restaurants “Two Sticks” and 20 robots leased to opening its network of stores in the Urals Honda. “The audience was looking at more of our robots, not cars” – gloats Permyakov.
“Android technology” has earned the first robot 300 million rubles … and turned their production. “We have experience, but this size – it is not serious. Only spoil the image “- frowns Permyakov. He wanted to create a large, this android. This requires more powerful motors, a different type of joints: a robot as tall as a person because of gaps in the joints and flexibility of the metal on the ends of the fingers play an inch – worse than Parkinson’s disease. Besides full android should be able to keep the dynamic balance – do not fall at the push: it is very difficult, “counting” problem. Within a few years spent Permyakov implementation of these ideas all earned on small robots.
In the corridor, the laboratory “android technology” in Magnitogorsk marking the lower half of large, size of a human, the robot. From the waist up the wires go: it’s AR-600, a favorite Permyakova, learns to balance. People walking all the time falls forward, is a controlled fall, explains Permyakov principle of dynamic equilibrium. Simple robots move in a different way – without bringing the center of gravity beyond the feet. AR-600 is a human walks, though slowly – 3 km / h
AR-600 is composed of approximately 1500 items from all over the world: gearmotors from Europe, special pinion backlash-free transmission from Japan, the Russian frame and electronics components and parts from China. Technology developed, proudly tells Permyakov: to turn a box of spare parts in a robot to a total of 16 man-hours. A dream come true Permiakov cost of 300 million rubles for the development of hands alone took 30 million: the robot is able to take things carefully and put where told. Able to remember and recognize faces, drive a route, and so on mass production of AR-600 price drop “to the price of 60 kg of metal.” But while it is the minimum price of 16 million rubles. Who may need it?
Within a few months of “six” found about a dozen of private buyers. “This is a serious wealthy people who are just curious about such a thing,” – explains sparingly businessman. But other buyers are more promising. A couple of months ago, “android technology” was the only participant and winner of the auction, organized by the Baltic Federal University. Kant. University in December with a little over 19 million rubles will receive a “six”, an extra set of hands, training ground for walking, operator station and the “exoskeleton” – a special suit-frame, putting the operator can cause the robot to copy their movements. “Other universities only watch, as we begin to work, the company will reveal all the sources” – pleased with Vice President for Development and Innovation Timur Gareev. University will finalize the robot brains to order itself, “android technology” and similar customers, says Permyakov, in various stages of negotiations, the company has a dozen customers. He is absolutely convinced that in 10 years the electronic boards replace artificial neural networks, and soon after that will create artificial body to carry them brain dead people for a small fee (available credit). These technologies Permyakov until invests eyeing.