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    Move Over, Rover - Here Comes Justin the Robot


    by NTDTelevision

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    German researchers hope that their coffee-making, ball catching robot named Justin, will become man's new best friend. Justin is being developed for use in space or in the home. But who would want to scratch their pet robot behind the ears?

    He may not be able to walk or talk - but he can catch a ball, make a cup of coffee and dance.

    His name is Justin, and he's a life-sized robot .

    German scientists hope robots like Justin one day become an indispensable addition to the home.

    Justin has a head, two arms and fingers and moves on rollers.

    It has two cameras for eyes and is being developed by a group of researchers and scientists at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in the southern town of Oberpfaffenhofen.

    Sensors are built in across the robot's body which, along with his "eyes" and an ability to sense his surroundings in three dimensions, allow him carry out commands, such as catching a ball.

    [Bertold Baeumi, Justin Project Scientist]:
    "What is special about Justin compared to most other humanoids is that he has all over his body sensors which makes it possible for him to feel, touch and give feedback to contact with the environment, for example the fingers can have contact with the objects and this allows Justin to do fine manipulation tasks."

    Justin's arms are lightweight and are able to move smoothly via ball joints at the shoulders, elbows and wrists. Similar technology is being used aboard the International Space Station.

    Baeuml and his team think that a self-thinking humanoid like Justin could allow for humans and robots to work much more closely together, especially in the home.

    [Bertold Baeumi, Justin Project Scientist]:
    "So the rolling Justin is especially suited for its service robotics so in the future we think that everyone will have a robot at home...