Fujitsu announced today that it has developed a new house-bot and handy in-home
surveillance aid called MARON-1, which is remote-controllable by cellphone.
"The ambulatory prototype robot is equipped with a wide range of functions,
including telephone, camera, remote control, timer and surveillance equipment.
With these features, for example, it is envisioned that MARON-1 could be used
for monitoring homes or offices at night or for checking up on persons requiring
special care and monitoring...
With remote operation by mobile phone, the robot can take pictures and relay
them to the phone's screen, so that the owner can check conditions at home.
The owner can give precise commands for moving the robot forward, backward
or turning in a desired direction....
Images sent by the Maron-1 can also be used for specifying a destination.
The robot's infrared remote control capability can be used to operate appliances
such as air conditioners, televisions and VCRs.
By positioning the robot one or two meters from a spot the owner would like
to monitor (for example, the front hall or a window) and turned appropriately,
MARON-1 is able to detect anyone or anything entering its field of view. If
it does detect an intrusion, it can sound an alarm and call a pre-set number.
The robot can also be scripted to take specific actions at specific times.
For example, it can be used as an alarm clock or timer, or it can be programmed
to take pictures around the house at pre-set times.
With its built-in PHS capability, the robot can be used as a hands-free telephone.
Frequently dialed numbers can be stored in its memory for one-touch dialing."
Fujitsu will present more details on MARON-1 at the Japan Robot Conference,
which starts Saturday, October 12, 2002 at Osaka University.