Posted by: robotnews | April 5, 2007

Have a great and safe shopping experience with Reborg-Q

u037028m Azhar Risyad Sunaryo

(Picture: Reborg-Q in action)

Reborg-Q, product of a Japanese company, ALSOK, is designed to boost security of a place. It can patrol a pre-defined path or controlled by joystick using wheels underneath.

While on patrol, the robot will take a look at the surroundings using its sensors that can detect water leaks, fire, or humans. If one of the sensors, for example the fire sensor, is alarmed, the robot will deviate from its path and follow the source. It then sends an alert to the computer in the security room and with four cameras on its head and shoulders, send the video of the problem. The person in the security room will then decide what to do, for example extinguish the fire using fire extinguisher that can be equipped on it. These videos can record anything during its patrol and the image will be sent via wi-fi to the security room.

With the help of monitor on its chest, it can also provide various informations, such as the location’s map. This will help lost children or for shoppers to find a way to their destination. Armed with a voice synthesizer, it can tell the time, weather or even make a promotional announcement. The robot can also ask for identification using a card reader equipped on its shoulders.

With all the applications above, this robot can surely enhance the safety of a building. It indeed gives a new height to the shopping experience.

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Responses

  1. I guess only huge shopping malls will need to employ this robot. I wonder if it can take escalaters or elavators. Then it can be used for hotel room services or maybe even postal service. But the overall feel of the aim for this robot is more commercial than really necessary. Just a thought. =)
    Sim Jian Ping

  2. Hi,

    Yup, the robot can also be equipped with functions to take elevators. Although the source didn’t stated how this is implemented, maybe the robot will send some signal to the elevator, like “level 5”, then it will go up there. But the elevator needs to be reprogrammed then hehe. Yup2, this robot has a lot of commercial value I think.

    Azhar

  3. I think the robot is very useful for security and as and an information center. However, for really crowded shopping malls, I wonder how effective the robot becomes, especially when its ‘view’ is shielded by the crowd, and it has to squeeze its way among the crowds.

    Lai Wei Lup
    U036239X

  4. Osbert Poniman U037052H

    I personally think that Reborg-Q is very impractical as all the functionalities can be done by human without any difficulties. Moreover, the cost of the robot must be very high including the maintenance etc. So i think it shows that robots can also be used for commercial purpose like attracting more customers, etc.

  5. Hi Wei Lup and Osbert,

    Wei Lup:
    Yup, indeed that it’s mobility may be limited in the crowded area. But I am not sure, maybe even though it is still in crowded place, the robot can still “sniff” dangers via its sensors? like the water leakage or fire sensor? This will then alert the security person in charge. Compared to if a security person is there, maybe he would not notice it. Don’t know though

    To Osbert:
    Yup2, the robot indeed costs some money, it costs for US $3200 for one robot. For the functionalities that can be done by humans, I am not sure about this, but isn’t that also one of purpose that humans create robot? To increase efficiency and do boring jobs maybe? or is it just my imagination of what robot is? hehehe don’t know.

    Yup, I also agree that it is very good for commercial use since it will be very attractive 😀

    Azhar Risyad Sunaryo u037028m

  6. To Azhar:

    Yup I agree that robots are also to increase the efficiency of particular tasks. That’s why autonomous systems are largely deployed by industry which can do jobs much faster, and hence obviously increase the efficiency.

    Safety surveillance is also significant issue in research labs or plants where hazardous chemical materials may cause harm to human. In this case, surveillance robot definitely increases the efficiency.

    But in this particular case, reborg-q is just patrolling a shopping mall. The worst case is just fire or water leakage in mall which can be observed easily by human. I don’t see any efficiency increased there. Furthermore, humans can do much better than robots especially in squeezing through the crowds.

    Anyway it’s just my personal opinion. I still believe that this robot is impractical for surveillance purpose, but purely to attract customers. Just my 2 cents

    Osbert Poniman U037052H

  7. I think that improvements can be made to increase the overall usability. However, I do think that being able to sense fire and all that is quite impressive and might be hard to achieve in a normal human being with the same equipment partly because sensing hazards and neutralizing them puts the life of the fire fighters or repairmen at risk in a way, not to mention that these are actually tasks that require some form of expertise and manual labour so this invention also saves time, effort and resources.

    However, I was thinking if it is possible to hook the robot up to the fire department or police department etc to faciliate more prompt and correct countering techniques when intruder/hazards are detected. They can serve as professional “hazard -fighters” in this case so less resources will be wasted as the call centre can handle other emergency calls while controlling the robot and this can also help reduce loss of life in fire-fighters, police, etc.

    If the robot is used in shopping malls, I was wondering if a search algorithm can be fixed on it so that it functions as an interactive directory as well and can point and bring shoppers to their destinations while at the same time patrolling the place.

    The possibilities are endless depending on the context in which the robots are introduced but I think resolving the priorities and reducing computation time and complexity might be an issue if more and more functions are added to the system.

    Goh Pei Ming
    U049117N

  8. Hi Osbert and Goh Pei Ming,

    Thx for the comments 😀

    To osbert:
    Yeah, someone mentioned to me that if the Reborg-Q and the bomb sniffing device are combined together, it will increase its usefulness, yeah so I also agrees that it can be increased its usefulness if it is combined with other functionality 😀

    Great Idea 😀

    To Pei Ming,
    Yup2, I have also thought of hooking up a fire department if anything goes wrong with the place. That would be great

    Hmm so far, what I know that the robot is capable is showing information to the passer-by, such as the map of the location. I haven’t found any source which stated that it can bring the shoppers to their destination. But maybe it can also be used for that, just hoping that not the shoppers want to do that ahahaha. Coz it will make the robot “shop” instead of patrol :p

    Thx 😀

    Azhar Risyad Sunaryo u037028m


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