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CanguRo: Intelligent Robot – Transformable and Ridable
Photo: Yusuke Nishibe
CanguRo is a RidRoid, an intelligent robot that is transformable and ridable. It was planned and developed by Future Robotics Technology Center (fuRo) of Chiba Institute of Technology (led by Takayuki Furuta) and product designer Shunji Yamanaka.
RidRoid (Ride + Roid)
CanguRo(Kangaroo in Italian)
Press release and images
What is CanguRo, a RidRoid?
In the past, the horse was a partner and a means of transportation. The fundamental concept of CanguRo is the mechanical horse – a future machine lifeform produced from the latest robotics and AI technologies fused by product design. As a partner robot, it never leaves the side of its master. When the master wants to go somewhere, it transforms itself into a vehicle. Through human-machine integration, CanguRo augments its master’s physical functions.
A hundred years have passed since the automobile was invented and the Ford Model T was put into mass production. It is time to build a totally new relationship between people and vehicles for the AI era.
Overview of functions
In robot mode, CanguRo operates like a buddy droid in a movie. As a loyal partner, it follows its master in shopping malls, giving help at times. Sometimes it works as a communications terminal, letting its master chat with friends and family members. Even from some distance away, CanguRo comes to its master upon a call from a smartphone or tablet. The fully automatic operation is based on scanSLAM—fuRo’s proprietary SLAM technology. CanguRo is a partner robot that never leaves the side of its master.
When the master wishes to travel, CanguRo automatically transforms itself into ride mode. In ride mode, CanguRo supports its master as an integral part of his or her body. As the master leans right and left to make a turn, CanguRo actively transforms its body and leans accordingly. It gives the master a sense of integration, like slalom skiing.
CanguRo has a built-in body-sonic system. According to the travel speed, CanguRo generates pulses like heartbeats, transmitted via the saddle to let the rider recognize the current speed by haptics. The steering has a force feedback, which directly transmits the radius of the turn to the rider’s arms. All these sensory functions are implemented to produce a sense of human-machine integration.
In near-accident situations, a smart stop function automatically applies brakes and prevents collisions.
CanguRo thus augments the motional and sensory functions of the human-being.
SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping): A core technology used in automatic navigation, with a role of eyes of human-beings. SLAM enables the robot to analyze the information from sensors such as lasers or cameras, simultaneously predicting its own position and drawing a map of the surroundings.