Bangladeshi develops humanoid robot from scrap

DHAKA Mon Oct 8, 2007 11:11am EDT

1 of 2. Feroz Ahmed Siddiky (R) sits next to his robot as he speaks to Reuters reporters during an interview in Dhaka October 6, 2007. The Bangladeshi graduate student is developing a robot capable of picking up objects, mopping floors and performing other simple tasks -- at the fraction of the cost of other humanoids cheap because it's made from scrap materials he's collected from electronic shops and car mechanics.

Credit: Reuters/Rafiqur Rahman

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DHAKA (Reuters) - Move over Japan? A Bangladeshi graduate student is developing a robot capable of picking up objects, mopping floors and performing other simple tasks -- at the fraction of the cost of other humanoids.

Feroz Ahmed Siddiky of the International Islamic University in Chittagong says his "IRobo" responds to voice commands, has spatial intelligence and is cheap because it's made from scrap materials he's collected from electronic shops and car mechanics.

"On completion, this robot will comply with different verbal commands for tasks like shifting objects, cleaning floors and standing guard," Siddiky told Reuters.

"It can also be used for some risky jobs like in coal mines, where workers commonly suffer many accidents."

Siddiky has been working on the robot for two years and says he has got another year's worth of engineering to do before its completed. He said he is currently discussing commercial production of the robot with an Australian software firm.

"I hope people will be able to buy it for less than $1,000," he added.

Cyber-crazy Japan is hooked on androids with several companies selling robots that mimic human action for medical and cleaning purposes, as well as entertainment.

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