If you happen to be in Tokyo this holiday season, you may want to drop by the Samsung Galaxy Café on the second floor of Hillside zone of Roppongi Hills for an opportunity to meet Samsung’s cool new bot in person. Heck, it may even give you a little holiday hug! They call it Hug-chan (“chan” is a term of endearment normally attached to the names of girls in Japan). It couples advanced robotics with Google’s Android software and Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone and tablet.
A Galaxy S smartphone issues commands to a Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE tablet that provides computer vision through its front and back cameras. It also controls the robot’s arms, legs and other moving parts. It doubles as Hug-chan’s charming head with eyes and other facial expressions rendered on the tablet’s display. In addition to the tablet camera, Hug-chan has a few cameras to detect and interact with users. Samsung even set up a website that lets people watch a live video stream from Hug-chan’s cameras.
A little background and a behind-the-scenes video is right below the fold…
Samsung’s Tomorrow blog elaborated on Hug-Chan:
Created with RT Corporations, a Japanese robotics company founded by Yuki Nakagawa, she found that the CPUs of those two devices offered more than enough processing power to do everything that Hug-Chan needed to do. The Galaxy SII LTE handles user interaction and commands while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE is mostly in charge of motion controls like hugging, singing, and dancing.
Android’s geeky nature and openness make it a perfect fit in robotics – and we do not mean robots that just entertain customers or solve Rubic’s Cube puzzle. As you know, Google brought out a slew of new features at the Google I/O developer conference in May 2011 that make it easier for Android developers to control external devices using standard or custom hardware and software interfaces.