View Full Version : sony robots

10-04-2008, 04:33 PM
hey just wondering.. sense sony closed their robotics program and as far as i know is no longer working with or dealing with robots. dose anybody know who bought the robot division from Sony.
just curious to see if someone or company is using all the hard work sony put in to robots.
or maby they just released the information for everyone to use but i wouldent think so considering all the time and money they invested in developing the technology. dose anybody know if they released their technology or is sony takein it to the grave.:veryhappy:

10-04-2008, 07:38 PM
To be honest nothing they developed was truly groundbreaking or exclusive.

Fairly high end actuators and decent programming, not like they held some trade secret.

That said, I highly doubt Sony is the 'open source' type of company ;)

Enusi Malik
10-08-2008, 08:05 AM
yeah I definitely I agree with you fully on that one Tyberius, I've seen a couple of videos on the robots dancing and what not, I don't think sony invested that much in there robotics program in oppose to there other revenues. The dance the huminoids do is pretty cool though :-) If i'm not mistaken I think they just skrapped the reasearch and they are apperently reasesing the robotics division, for there reconstruction plan.
Here some details for ya.

10-09-2008, 12:53 AM
o ok ya thanks you guys i just wasent shure on what had happened with sony and everything.

10-10-2008, 01:27 AM
[Personal attack removed. -Ad]

The QRIO was in development for many years and had an international crew of developers for both software and hardware. A former professor at the renowned Waseda University, who started his own lab (Takanishi Labs) co-owns the motion control technology patents with Sony. If you recall, the Waseda University Wabot was one of the first bipedal walking robots. QRIO's motion control is based on ZMP and was capable of dynamic gait generation. KAIST's similar humanoid robot the HanSaRam VIII is no where near as mobile or intelligent as QRIO and it has been in development since 2000.

Anyway, on the software side of things all you need to do is look up .PDF documents readily available on-line to see that some of the stuff they were doing was fantastic. There's a podcast from Robots Podcast from one of the engineers who worked on the Aibo which also has some interesting info in it. For example, QRIO could detect a person's body language and mimic it:



This, in addition to regular face recognition technology (note in the 2nd image QRIO is giving priority to the girl who is waving her hand):


QRIO had SLAM based on his stereoscopic vision, which he used to create 2.5D maps of his surroundings. This requires him to be able to detect landmarks in his surroundings, and he is creating the map without the need for an expensive laser scanner (note that the data is fuzzier than a laser scanner but still quite functional enough to navigate a house):


Additionally QRIO's vision provided for depth perception to detect obstacles. (Here we see created depth maps that prevent him from being confused by multicolored objects like Elmo's face on a flat surface):


His pathfinding and route planning capability was much better than the Aibo's.

They were in the process of building in complex, multi-layered behavioural control systems to give QRIO a sense of purpose and personality in his daily activities.

Qrio is repeating the sound from the researcher using voice recognition and voice synthesis. On the left, a visual representation of QRIO's behavioral decisions as a percentage of colored dots.

Did you know that QRIO has four FSR (force sensitive resistors) in each foot to help him balance? That he has more than 30 touch sensors located throughout his body to prevent injury to humans (fingers won't get caught in his joints)? Did you know that QRIO had 7 microphones in his head which gave him directional hearing?

QRIO on roller skates - excellent balance

I could go on, but I'll answer the OP's question. While many of the individuals who were working on QRIO have since dispersed to unknown whereabouts, we do know that at least 7-10 key staff have been transferred to Toyota's robotics division after Sony's division was put on permanent hiatus. These engineers are largely credited for creating Toyota's recently unveiled Winglet personal mobility robots that are similar to but much slimmer than the Segway. These engineers are likely working on Toyota's Partner Robots which you have probably seen playing musical instruments and the like.

10-10-2008, 08:00 AM
Well, I was going to post my QRIO rebirth project here at Trossen but it seems a certain mod is power-tripping on me due to a clash of personalities. Due to this mod's attitude towards me I've decided that I am not welcome here and you have lost me as a customer (was planning on investing in certain sensors from you guys, but I will take my business - and my project - elsewhere). See ya! :rolleyes:


10-10-2008, 09:30 AM
Just out of curiosity, do you own any humanoids or have you built any robots? You mentioned wanting to buy a humanoid...

And from your Sony press releases, I still fail to see any groundbreaking technology that they invented. Looks to me like applications of pre-existing technology with a high budget behind it. I'm the type of person who is much more impressed when that sort of technology is replicated by an individual, rather than gawking at what a multi-billion dollar corporation can do funding a university research team.

But then again, that's just my opinion.