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New Robot Can Identify Wines, Cheeses [View All]

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-02-06 07:51 PM
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New Robot Can Identify Wines, Cheeses
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FULL story: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20060902/D8JSVMMG0.htm...

New Robot Can Identify Wines, Cheeses
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Sep 2, 5:44 PM (ET)

By ERIC TALMADGE

TSU, Japan (AP) - The ability to discern good wine from bad, name the specific brand from a tiny sip and recommend a complementary cheese would seem to be about as human a skill as there is. In Japan, robots are doing it.

Researchers at NEC System Technologies and Mie University have designed a robot that can taste - an electromechanical sommelier able to identify dozens of different wines, cheeses and hors d'oeuvres.

"There are all kinds of robots out there doing many different things," said Hideo Shimazu, director of the NEC System Technology Research Laboratory and a joint-leader of the robot project. "But we decided to focus on wine because that seemed like a real challenge."


A "Winebot," or a robot that can taste, fires off a beam of infrared light from its left arm to a bottle of Shiraz, and tell the kind of wine during a demonstration at a laboratory in Tsu, central Japan, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006. Some of the light is absorbed and the light that returns is then analyzed in real time to determine the object's chemical content. Researchers at NEC System Technologies and Mie University have designed the robot, a mechanical sommelier, that is able to identify dozens of different kinds of wine, cheeses and hors d'oeuvres. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)


Last month, they unveiled the fruits of their two-year effort - a green-and-white prototype with eyes, a head that swivels and a mouth that lights up whenever the robot talks.

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