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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Here's the life-changing robot designed for Joanne O'Riordan in action

The prototype was unveiled at Trinity College Dublin earlier this afternoon.


(Video Credit: TheJournal.ie)

IT BLINKS, IT walks, and although it doesn’t talk just yet, it’s is the first step towards a robot that could change the lives of thousands of people.

Engineers at Trinity College Dublin revealed Robbie earlier this afternoon, a prototype robot designed to help Joanne O’Riordan.

The 18-year-old was born with a rare condition known as Total Amelia which means she has no limbs.

Display emotions

After three months and with €50,000 in funding, the team managed to construct this version that can easily pick up dropped items and display emotions.

The engineers stressed that this is a working prototype and not the finished product, although it doesn’t differ entirely from their original designs.

“It had to be anthropomorphic,” Design Engineer George Walsh said, “so that people could easily accept it”.

“The original design and goal hasn’t changed, but some of the concepts of how to carry out the necessary functions required rethinking due to funding and time constraints”.

He added that while future designs will aim to be lighter and more power efficient, the basic functionality they aimed for has been achieved.

Conor McGinn, Chief Engineer, explains the build of the robot below:


(Video Credit: TheJournal.ie)

Dr Hamadan I. Touré, Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), said it was amazing to see the robot in motion and that everyone was greatly inspired by Joanne’s speech at the United Nations.


(Video Credit: TheJournal.ie)

Read more: Trinity College engineers have built Joanne O’Riordan a robot >

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Nicky Ryan

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