New robot draws sketches of computer images
Manufacturers hope to make robot commercially available for $100 by 2013.
Sun, Sep 02, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Photo: Sean Captain
BERLIN — Another technology conference, another crew of robots doing useless but cool things. At the current IFA tech show, our favorite was a prototype drawing droid from Vietnamese robot maker Tosy.
Hefty enough to take over an endtable, the SketRobo does just one thing: draw pictures. The prototype we saw did a perfect job of reading images from an attached computer and translating them into black-and-white line sketches. (There is no PaintRobo yet, but reprsentatives of the firm suggested that the sketches would make good coloring project for the kids.)
Tosy hopes to have the SketRobo out as a final product in 2013, selling for about $100. The price will probably be less of a challenge than finding a place for the big fellow. But even if a drawing robot is exactly what you want, skip the first version. It will only be able to render 200 photos that Tosy will preload into its memory.
In version 2, the company plans to install a wireless camera where the robot's "eyes" would be. With the camera and new software, SketRobo will be able to draw whatever it sees before him. In the past, you had to be nobility or hire an artist to draw your portrait. Soon, if the promise holds, a $100 robot can do it.
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