Our buddies over at Aldebaran Robotics in France, makers of the cute little Nao
robot, have returned with a new elderly care robot, dubbed Romeo. The much larger humanoid stands 1.4 meters tall (a bit over four and half feet) in his gunmetal Speedo and weighs 40 kilograms (88 pounds). Romeo features 37-degrees of freedom, a four-vertebra backbone, articulated feet, a composite leg exoskeleton, and a revised actuator giving the robot safer control over its limbs. The clean-shaven bot also features a "partially soft torso" -- at least until grandma unleashes her charms. The bot interacts via natural speech and gestures to perform tasks such as taking out the trash, lifting a cup with its four-fingered hand, or fetching food from the kitchen. Romeo will join a long line of robots destined to entertain and help care for the aged
and infirmed when he's unveiled in March at a cost of about €250,000 (about $330,000).