Home service robots must have implements like conversation interfaces so it can be easily accepted by the users. To get basic data to develop such a robot, we investigated the robot's impressions of when it responded to the instructions of operating a TV or when it planning the cooking recipes. Thirty men and thirty women of different age groups rated the impression on using the robot. The results indicated that we should find a better way to inform to the user when a word was not in the robot's database. Moreover, we should reconsider what kind of the robot's gesture the users need. In addition, the embodiment of the robot made the impressions better. In addition, women judged the robot positively probably because the robot had a cute appearance.
In laparoscopic surgery, surgeons perform surgery in the abdominal cavity by using only rod-shaped instruments that can be inserted through the small halls of trocars. Thus, they cannot use large and complicated shaped traditional instruments for abdominal surgery, nor their hands directly. When it is difficult to perform surgery by using only instruments for laparoscopic surgery, surgeons often make a 7-8 [cm] incision through which large instruments or their hands can be inserted. This paper propose an assemblable mechanical hand like a human hand that can be inserted through trocars. There are two directions in this study. One is to develop a few degree of freedom hand specialized for a single task and the other to develop a large degree of freedom hand with multiple functions like a human hands. We developed an assemblable three fingerd five-DOF hand in the latter direction. This hand consists of body and finger units, and an installation tool. The finger unit is fixed to the body unit with only one screw by using the installation tool. To drive the fingers, power is transmitted with wires, gears and shafts. Experimental results verify that the hand can grasp and pushing aside various objects.
The paper describes development of a compact and economical sensing system to detect a cell in a micro channel which can be integrated easily on a micro PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) chip. The light-intersecting method is adopted for detecting a cell moving in the channel, since the mechanism can be basically composed of only a light source element and a detector. The paper proposes an integrating procedure and shows the experiment in order to bear out feasibility of the system. Furthermore, a method of implementation of the mechamism on a micro PDMS chip is described.