by John Stoehr
From WIRED magazine's Gadget Lab blog . . .
Toyota has demonstrated a range of new domestic robots aimed to help both the disabled and the busy home-maker. The wheelchair robot is notable because it looks like the head of an AT-ST Scout Walker, but the star is the violin playing model.
That it manages not to wring the sounds of dying cats from the instrument is extraordinary, but the five foot tall Partner Robot manages to knock out a pretty good rendition of Land of Hope and Glory (I think).
We're not sure exactly how the mechanical musician will help in hospitals and nursing homes (its planned destination), but with 17 computer controlled joints in its arms and hands, it might just be good for a quick foot massage.
Perhaps management for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra would like to get a piece of this action since it seems bent on devaluing the human element among the ranks of its musicians.
(Image above courtesy of the Associated Press)