The ROBO-ONE initiative usually draws a lot of attention because of it's robot battles in the ring. After all, who wouldn't be excited by a couple of robotic humanoids trying to knock each other out, sometimes completely out of the ring. But, the movement is much more than just entertainment. The organizers and participants, some of whom are top design engineers in their day jobs, are also dedicated to applying robotics to public service applications. They are strong believers in the concept that humanoid robots will eventually play a critical role by assisting seniors, enhancing medical care, teaching children and people of any age, preparing and serving meals, and much more.
This weekend, a group of ROBO-ONE robot builders gathered at the 3rd Humanoid Helper Robot Project event in Yokohama to test their creations in a real-world home environment doing practical tasks. Considering the fact that these are essentially hobbyists funding their work out of their own pockets, the results were extremely encouraging. These are not major universities or research facilities with major backing or government funding. This is totally a grass-roots initiative.
Here's a good example: Doka Harumi demonstrating a few of the useful tasks it can already perform.
Doka Harumi has an operator located in another part of the building that can only sense what the robot sees and hears via sensors on the robots body. As the project progresses, more and more autonomous control will be implemented in the robot itself.