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Robots On Display At Museum Of Science And Industry

Anybot QB2

Anybot QB2 is a telepresence robot that can be used for videoconferencing. He is on display at the National Robotics Week at the Museum of Science and Industry. (Credit: John Cody/WBBM Newsradio/CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Robots for love, war and cleaning your room are all on display at the Museum of Science and Industry for National Robotics Week.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, among the robots is Anybot QB2, a telepresence robot, which looks just like a Segway with a robot’s head.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

“So if you had a factory somewhere else in the country and you wanted to make weekly visits, but you didn’t want to fly there, you could drive this little guy around,” said exhibit developer John Beckman.

Tammy Mason of Louisville said she sees potential at home for Anybot.

“Answer my door, give orders to my kids – I would say, ‘Go do this, go tell them to do this, go tell them to do that, and I would keep on playing Facebook,” she said.

Meanwhile, Paro, the therapeutic robot, might look more like a plush toy. But Cindy Peterson, who tested the robot, explained that there’s much more to Paro as she tickled the robot under the chin.

Paro can replace an often live pet for shut-ins, Peterson explained.

“Rather than a dog, you have more control over this,” she said. “I’m a nurse, so I know many times they take in puppies and things like that, but you are never exactly sure what they’re going to do. This one is not moving, so you could put this in somebody’s lap. It’s not going to jump around or hurt them, but it is oddly soothing.”

Also on display is TOPY Anie II, another telepresence robot used for navigating crawlspaces, utility pipes and other narrow spaces. Another robot, Recon Scout XT or Throwbot, is designed for video reconnaissance on all different terrain – and at a weight of just two pounds, users can throw it where it needs to go.

Scout XT and Anie II will be on duisplay in the Robotarium – a complex of ramps, obstacles and tunnels for the robots to navigate.

A hands-on robot workshop was held on Wednesday, and another is planned for Thursday. And on Saturday, look for presentations by students and professors working on cutting-edge robotics research at the Big ’Bot Blowout.