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The upper and left forearms of the RI-MAN robot have soft area tactile
sensors that measure the magnitude and position of contact force when
the 'bot picks up a patient.
RI-MAN robot also uses fifteen small controllers that operate the joints
of the robot.
These controllers perform dedicated motor and sensor control tasks.
This distributed controller network avoids the concentration of computa-
tional loads on the main computer and also dramatically reduces the
Besides improving speed, it also helps make RI-MAN small and compact.
Using simple, cup-shaped "ears", RI-MAN can determine the horizontal
direction of sound; changes in the sound spectrum enable judgement
of front or rear direction for sounds.
The RI-MAN robot can track human faces by integrating auditory and
Stereo cameras record the scene; the position of human faces can be
The robot also determines the position of a sound source (like the voice
of a human being) using its "ears" as described above.
The RI-MAN robot has a gas sensor module that can identify smells that
provide important information to caregivers, like the smell of urine from
an incontinent patient.
The sensing method is based on the nonlinear dynamic output of a gas
sensor in response to periodic heating.
Differences in dynamic response are used to determine the gas type
and concentration. The two sensors installed on the right and left sides
of RI-MAN's torso provide the information.