July 10, 2005 Fujitsu has shown the third iteration of its Humanoid for Open Architecture Platform (HOAP) series of robots which first went on sale to research institutions and universities four years ago. As you’d expect, the HOAP-3 model is way better than HOAP-2 after four years of development and the new model has advanced image recognition capabilities and the ability to not only communicate but also to display emotion – a feature that seems high on the agenda for Japanese robotics manufacturers. HOAP-3 is now available to universities and its open systems architecture is designed so students and researchers can explore the little feller’s (he’s 60 cm tall and weighs 8 kg) RTLinux operating system and many advanced built-in features.

HOAP-3 will be on show at the ROBOTREX 2005 exhibition in Osaka this coming week (July 13-17) where he will demonstrate his many features which include an inbuilt camera, microphone, speaker, expression LED, audio recognition, speech synthesis and image recognition and 802.11g wireless communication – which means he (and a team of buddies) can be controlled through the wireless network.

HOAP-3 has 28 degrees of freedom and the fine details of Fujitsu’s official announcment can be found here (Japanese) which can be roughly translated into English hereand enquiries should be directed here.

The United States distributor of HOAP will be KND.

Finally, if you're not a research establishment but want some educational toys to nurture an interest in robotics, check out Japan Robotech.

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