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A World of Robots Pepper is a robot—a machine that can sense its surroundings and do certain tasks. Pepper shakes hands, gives hugs, and even dances. What makes Pepper really special, though, is the ability to read human emotions and respond to them. T is little bundle of technology is loaded

with cameras, microphones, and other sensors. T ese parts allow Pepper to read a person’s facial expressions and tone of voice. T en Pepper can fi gure out how the person is feeling and respond in a helpful way. Feeling sad? Pepper might sing your favorite song to cheer you up. Pepper is a humanoid robot because it

resembles a human. But robots come in all shapes and sizes, and they do all sorts of tasks. Some robots are mechanical arms. T ey

do factory jobs, such as assemble cars. Some robots are carts that move goods in warehouses. Some robots are disc-shaped and vacuum as they scoot along the fl oor. Other robots do jobs that are too dangerous for people. And some robots, like Pepper, are just meant to brighten your day. Let’s meet a few other robots that were

invented to help people. T ink about the human problems each robot helps solve.

Meet Robo Sally T e soldier takes a deep breath. A steady hand reaches for the tangle of wires connected to the explosive material. T e objective is to disable the bomb so that it won’t explode and cause harm. It’s extremely dangerous because one wrong move could make the bomb explode. Yet the soldier is safe. He’s standing 800 meters away. T e hands that are disarming the bomb belong to a robot. Meet Robo Sally! Robo Sally may not be cute like Pepper, but

Sally is another wonder of robot technology. Sensors in Sally’s hands give the robot a sense of touch. T e operator, who controls Sally remotely, wears gloves that also contain sensors. T e sensors let the operator feel what the robot feels. Other sensors allow Robo Sally to copy the

motions of the operator. So when the operator reaches out and grabs an object, Sally does, too. Her touch is delicate. She can hold a pin or grip a thin wire. But those same mechanical hands can also grab a sheet of metal that weighs 22 kilograms and toss it aside. Robo Sally has other important features.

Her “eyes” are two cameras that allow the operator to see what Sally sees. Four wide wheels let the robot roll over rugged terrain at up to 32 kilometers per hour. Besides disarming bombs, Robo Sally can

be used for other dangerous situations, like investigating chemical leaks. In more ways than one, Robo Sally is a real lifesaver.


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