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Twin robots from OZ can be your Jeeves

Published Jan 7, 2014, 4:00 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 5:08 am IST
Professors unveil special robots which can assist humans in all ways.

Chennai: It could be a dream personal assistant, making telephone calls for you, reminding you to take your medication, search Google, speak in any language you speak to it, read newspapers (any language) and multi-task in every other way. 

If you think  you could never find all this in one person, you’d be right as the talented assistant is a  robot, Charles. Luckily he has a twin, Sophie . The two will be showcased at the IIT-M’s Shaastra on Tuesday.


Developed by two professors from Australia’s La Trobe University, the  Partner-type-Personal-Robots  weigh five kilogrammes each and are programmed to speak in any language and express emotions through their actions, explains Prof. Rajiv Khosla, director of research centre for computers, communication and social innovation at the  La Trobe Univer sity.

“The speciality of the robot is that it can both transmit real time video and audio online, besides project the video sent remotely to it from any part of the world. It has been put on field trials 20 times in homes, hospitals and educational institutions in Australia and  yielded positive results,” he says.

Funded by the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation to the tune of $40,000 the project could see the robots used therapeutically for mild dementia sufferers for the first time. 

“These robots have been designed to support well-being and sustainability of human society in a range of areas including health  and aged-care, education,” says Mei-Tai Chu, programme director of business information management and systems at La Trobe .

Pic: Australian trade commissioner Michael Carter (left) plays with Charles, one of the partner-type-personal-robots, developed by La Trobe University. Prof Rajiv Khosla (extreme right), Prof R. Nagarajan, dean of International relations & alumni affairs at IIT Madras, and Dr Mei-Tai Chu look on during the demonstration of the robots in the city on Monday.