Mexico City – The group of Mexican scientists charged with building "Mex-One," a humanoid able to walk and memorize information, presented its final robot, which will also be the first to operate under the new concept of "social robotry."
Researcher Eduardo Bayro, who is leading the project, uses the term to refer to the different social uses that the new invention will have.
Unlike the already extant "social robots," machines that serve as interfaces between human beings, "with Mex-One we're developing sub-products with practical ends in such fields as medicine and culture," he said.
Among the products to be obtained, the expert cited a helmet for the blind or nearly blind, robotic implements for operating on tumors and performing transplants, as well as intelligent hands and feet for the disabled.
"This is a contribution at an international level because it offers the chief characteristics of humanoids but at a low cost," Bayro said, adding that the total cost of the robot was about $100,000, though replicas of it can be acquired at half the price.
He described the robot as a piece of open architecture that will allow research centers and universities with scant resources to develop new algorithms, ideas and applications in the field of robotics.
A year after announcing the construction of Mex-One, its creators, research scientists at the Research and Advanced Studies Center, or Cinvestav, called it the most advanced robot of its kind in Ibero-America, with functions similar or even superior to those built by Japanese, U.S. and European companies.
The prototype measures 1.05 meters (3 1/2 feet) tall and weighs around 15 kilos (33 lbs), and while it now walks and follows moving objects with its eyes, it will also be able to climb stairs, pour water, recognize faces, hold basic conversations and learn by experience.
"It also has a future as a museum guide and in the healthcare field as a hospital assistant," the researcher from Cinvestav's Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department said.
Bayro stressed that Mex-One's chief contribution is in the software of its artificial intelligence, where it can store data thanks to a cognitive memory that works on a wireless system connected to two computers.