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September 29, 2011

Bosch Unveils 'Alan' to American Households

Looking to help millions of American households in their daily chores, Bosch Research and Technology Center (RTC) has announced the development of a new robot named “Alan.”

With “Alan” the robot, part of the Personal Robot 2 (PR2) Beta Program by Willow Garage, Inc., Bosch Research and Technology Center (RTC) is helping accelerate tomorrow's use of personal robotics.

Helping shape market requirements and supporting the technology development for future household robots that are affordable, capable and safe, Bosch has contributed to significant technology advancements through collaboration with the PR2 open-source community, halfway through the two-year program,

“It is estimated that consumers will enjoy the functionality of personal robots within the next five to 10 years,” said Peter Marks, chairman, president and CEO of Robert Bosch LLC and member of the Board of Management. “The progress of this PR2 program in computing power and sensor technology, which was not feasible before now, is groundbreaking and indicative of Bosch's tradition. We look forward to a day when robots like Alan help make our lives at home simpler.”

Enabling new applications, reducing development cost and improving overall robot safety through work in four areas, Bosch has put hardware and software solutions to the test since its involvement in the PR2 program.

These four areas include shared autonomy (human assistance), remote experimentation, affordable sensing (devices that process data) and hackathons (exploring new applications). To be practical, a household robot must be able to accomplish intricate tasks that are difficult to automate, such as folding laundry, the company stated in a press release.

In 2008, the company announced that it had agreed to the terms of a patent license for the Moore Microprocessor Patent (MMP) Portfolio. The terms of the transaction were not made public.

The Moore Microprocessor Patent Portfolio consists of intellectual property that is jointly owned by publicly-held Patriot (News - Alert) Scientific Corporation and the privately held The TPL Group. The TPL Group undertakes the marketing, licensing and defense of patents in MMP portfolio.

Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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