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Toys

Sanyo Announces "Banryu" Home Security Robot 205

Fooferaw writes "From the Sanyo web site: Sanyo and smaller tmsuk announce the next version of their "Banryu" home robot shaped somewhat like a dragon (it has the shiny curves of an AIBO, IMO). The Banryu can walk 15m/min., hear, sense in the infrared, and apparently "smell" a fire in the home. It even transmit real-time video." Corrected: The title initially said Sharp...I must have Zaurus on the brain.
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Sanyo Announces "Banryu" Home Security Robot

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  • So basically its a smoke detector with legs? I'd rather have something that could at least double as a fire extinguisher... Motion sensors could be useful in something like this too...

    btw: First post, w00t

  • kinda like my dog. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Penguinoflight ( 517245 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:11PM (#4665636) Homepage Journal
    He can sense fire, scare intruders, run about 15m per SECOND, he's still working on the real time video... Really, this is a cool gadget, but who needs it?
    • I think you misread the speed. Thats per minute. The damn things pretty slow.
    • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:21PM (#4665699) Homepage Journal
      shaped somewhat like a dragon (it has the shiny curves of an AIBO, IMO). The Banryu can walk 15m/min., hear, sense in the infrared, and apparently "smell" a fire in the home. It even transmit real-time video."

      He can sense fire, scare intruders, run about 15m per SECOND, he's still working on the real time video... Really, this is a cool gadget, but who needs it?

      Who needs Legos PC cases?

      Who needs case mods?

      Who needs overclocking with liquid nitrogen?

      Who needs a PDA with Linux?

      YOU do! Now get out there and get busy! Start by imagining a beowulf cluster of these things and proceed to make them do things unnatural to their original design (i.e. have it go down the street for pizza while you're sitting here reading slashdot) Maybe make it walk your dog for you. Make it talk like Yoda! Endless are the possibilities!

    • No prob.. just attach one of those X10 cams to its collar.

      ...

      On second thought, don't. I just got a mental cam image of the dog licking itself.

    • Yeah but this thing won't sh*t on your carpet or bark while you're trying to sleep. Can you tell I don't like dogs?
    • by Adam9 ( 93947 )
      "Its speed has been increased from 3meters/min. to 15meters/min"

      On the plus, they did increase the speed 5 fold, hopefully they can go for more if they want it to be some true security for the home.
  • Sharp or Sanyo (Score:4, Informative)

    by Syn Ack ( 3105 ) <slashdot@n[ ]e.ca ['otm' in gap]> on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:12PM (#4665640) Homepage

    Hrm, why does the headline read Sharp but the product is from Sanyo?
  • by Metallic Matty ( 579124 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:12PM (#4665641)
    Robocop: "Freeze dirtbag."

    Criminal claps

    *Robocop powers off*

    Criminal claps

    Robocop: "Please don't do that.."

    • I wouldn't mind having an ED 209 [jeffbots.com] minding my place. Although if someone did break into my house there wouldn't be much left of it at the end...
    • But does it squeal like an outraged pig after falling down the stairs like ED-209? Is it smart enough to crush it's remote after you've armed it? And most importantly, does it run Linux? (After all, if it's another WinCrap partnership you just know it's just going to stare at you with lifeless blue eyes blinking "BSOD" when you need it most!)

  • Dragon, nothin'. I want the "dragonFLY" from Danny Dunn, invisible boy. Even without the haptic feedback, I'd be happy. At this point, remote audio surveillance seems like the best strategy for relationships in my life...

    (*bitter sigh*)
  • by serps ( 517783 )

    How long before the Japanese Yakuza start selling robotic Steve Irwins [crocodilehunter.com] to disable them?

  • Deus Aibo (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:15PM (#4665656)
    The trick is to walk slowly behind them or use EMP grenades
  • All that open gearing and interior access is just begging for kids and crumbs and small parts and a high maintenance life....

    Yeah, not something I am buying....
  • by Rob.Mathers ( 527086 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:16PM (#4665660) Homepage
    Although the press release was not specific on exactly what sort of home security functions it would perform, I would think that it's speed would limit it's use. A 15 m per minute (.9 km/h) could easily be out walked by even the most unfit of people. This would seem to make it fairly useless in any sort of roving intruder detection system.
    • armament (Score:3, Interesting)

      the base model doesn't seem to have a lot of bite to its bark... but unlike a real dog you might be able to mount a backpack rocket launcher [sfxb.co.uk] like that dog shadow from the centurions.

      On the other hands, real k9s these days can carry body armour, [botachtactical.com] so I guess things might be looking up for organic hounds.

    • "Woof! Woof! Woof! Hello, I'm Rags. Woof! Woof! Woof!"
    • by spoco2 ( 322835 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:52PM (#4665853)
      Exactly, after seeing this on the news last week, I was less than impressed by the speed of it...

      Robot: "WOOF!"
      Thief: "Oh crap! A robot dog!"
      *Robot dog slowly lumbers towards intruder, looking more like a drunk and invalid spider with half its legs than a scary intruder deterant*
      T: "Oh... is that all you've got... so if I walk over... like... here... I would loose you..."
      R: "WOOF!"
      T: "I'll just be in the other room if you can be bothered walking through"
      R: "Wimper..."
    • Although the press release was not specific on exactly what sort of home security functions it would perform, I would think that it's speed would limit it's use. A 15 m per minute (.9 km/h) could easily be out walked by even the most unfit of people. This would seem to make it fairly useless in any sort of roving intruder detection system.

      Hmmm not entirely; it would deter AIBOs from breaking and entering.

      Best wishes,
      Mike.

  • ...but? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chester K ( 145560 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:16PM (#4665661) Homepage
    Will it push Grandma down the stairs? Grandma needs to be protected!
  • by Arethan ( 223197 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:16PM (#4665662) Journal
    I imagine that the shiny lizard-like shape intimidates burglars, making them want to run away.

    Please... This has got to be one of the lamest gadgets I've ever heard of. You'll get better performance out of a few well placed web cams, some infrared motion detectors, and a smoke alarm or two. At least then you won't have to worry about the batteries wearing down every other day.

    "Burnt smell"... hehe, that sounds real technical. Oh well. It's their money they dumped into R&D. I suppose they'll have to learn for themselves that the consumer market for such a device isn't large enough to sustain production.
    • Please... This has got to be one of the lamest gadgets I've ever heard of. You'll get better performance out of a few well placed web cams, some infrared motion detectors, and a smoke alarm or two. At least then you won't have to worry about the batteries wearing down every other day.

      Yes, but what it lacks in actual usefulness it makes up for in being sooo cute!
    • The prototype run is only 50 or so units. And at $15,000 or so, I'm not surprised. (And feeding it Aibos could get really expensive!)

      I'll just settle for my 486/66 and a reed switch to handle break-ins (apartment, one door) and my smoke detector for fires. (To the people who expressed interest in where I live, I converted the 486 to Linux yesterday. You too slow! :^)

    • Hell, this thing can do 1 thing I can't... SMELL.

      I was blessed/cursed with a lack of smell. One day a PC started smoking in my room and I had no idea until the smoke alarm went off on the other side of the house (the one on my side was being replaced).

      Now if only they could add instrumentation to this thing to smell old-clothes, shoes that walked in dog sh!t, etc I will no longer be handicapped.

  • by Ninja Master Gara ( 602359 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:16PM (#4665663) Homepage
    Soon to be upgraded with 2000 degree centrigrade flamethrower plus optional napalm pack! Now that's secure. Until you come home from cheating on yer wife and try to sneak in.
  • Love to see these in Robo-cup.

    Either against the Sony Dogs, or on their own.

    Sharp VS Sony.

    nice.

  • With the sensor the robot will be able to detect "burnt scent" which is known to occur in the atmosphere preceding a fire.

    Oh, boy... I hope it's a bit smarter than simply "smelling" something burning (detecting smoke in teh aair).
    • Re:Smokers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sheetsda ( 230887 ) <doug.sheets@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:54PM (#4665864)
      I hope so too, considering:
      -Smoke rises
      -The thing is 700mm tall (~28 inches)
      -My bed is about the same height or higher
      So if I'm in bed (you'd think I would be if I'm having this thing patrol my house, but then again it probably makes a lot of noise) I'll be dead of smoke inhalation before its warnings go off if it didn't detect more than just a high concentration of smoke.

      And speaking of its dimensions, did anyone else notice how big this thing is? A meter long, and almost as tall and wide. A lot of people are making fun of the "home security" concept but given a threatening posture, its size, and composition (its a goddamn robot), it may be more effective at scaring off burglars than one might think (though there are definitely some serious questions remaining there). My question is, whats to stop the burglars from stealing this really novel (read: expensive) looking piece of equipment?
      • My question is, whats to stop the burglars from stealing this really novel (read: expensive) looking piece of equipment?
        Does it run Windows? Perhaps it will give a very novel meaning to "Bluescreen of Death."
      • A meter long, and almost as tall and wide...there are definitely some serious questions remaining there

        Yeah, like "how does it get through doors?"

  • They forgot to mention the reason it has a smoke detector: like any good robotic dragon it is equipped with some "glands" that basically make, well...

    Napalm, son.
  • Does the two colors mean that it comes in 27 and 49mhz version?

    (obvious to anyone who has a normal tyco or similar RC Car)
  • A robot that can say "Danger, Will Robinson" and actually mean it!
  • I want something with genuine firepower. Not something that attempts to overcome burglars by giving them a case of the giggles.

    -Ed
    • by Rolo Tomasi ( 538414 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @12:20AM (#4665967) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, those Japanese are so unimaginative. They could have at least mounted a 50,000 Volts taser in its mouth, for a bite that will sting. I can see it before my eyes ...

      Burglar breaks window, enters house.

      Robot dog (metallic sound): WOOF!

      Burglar: Oh, hehe. One of those crappy, yet expensive robot dog toys. Come here, Rex. Tee hee. (Reaches out to grab it)

      *BZZZZZT*

      *THUD* (sound of lifeless body impacting floor)

      • by Maskirovka ( 255712 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @03:28AM (#4666596)
        Yeah, those Japanese are so unimaginative.

        Don't worry: this is only the japanese version, designed with their market in mind. Here's a rundown of the rumored features of the American version:

        10ft Balrog formfactor
        Acetelyne driven in head to give it authentic Balrog look and industry leading Knaw.
        Feet include built in retractable heavy duty rollor blades for high speed street use, and lower speed offroad action.
        Balrog Bat flight module, for when running is not an option.
        16ft sword, splash anodized for effect.
        Broadband satalite uplink for sending realtime video as you rape and pillage Florida spammer's estate when not guarding your apartment against terrorists.
        Optional grenade launcher, still undergoing ATF testing.
        Low rader cross section.
        UltraLife Plutonium batteries

        Militarized Isreali version comming soon!

        Maskirovka

      • According to the article, this is just the prototype. They're talking about partnering w/ a big player in the security industry to design and implement the production model.

        I'd expect the commercial release to be a lot more capable.

  • Ahh yes (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zeebs ( 577100 ) <rsdrew@NospaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:21PM (#4665698)
    Robber 1: Oh shit a a robotic security system
    Robber 2: Gawd damn it! It's spotted us.
    Robber 1: RUN!
    Robber 2: It's still chasing us... Very... Slowly...
    Robber 1: stroll?
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:22PM (#4665706) Journal
    Sharp Announces "Banryu" Home Security Robot

    The Banryu can walk 15m/min., hear, sense in the infrared, and apparently "smell" a fire in the home.


    Sounds impressive, but my 36" Louisville Slugger probably wouldn't mind delivering a few Newton-meters of torque to Banryu's ass.
  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:23PM (#4665714)
    ...I can yell "Beer me!" and it trots over with a frosty mug full.
  • Big sucker (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    1000mm? That's over 3 feet long.
  • Sharp or Sanyo? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 )

    Sharp Announces "Banryu" Home Security Robot.....

    "From the Sanyo web site....."

    If it is Sanyo, what's with the Sharp in the title?

  • by reconn ( 578681 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:32PM (#4665753) Homepage
    I, for one [seanbaby.com], welcome our new robot overlords [warnerbros.com].
  • Sure it looks cool, but how hackable is this thing?

    Can I interface it to my Linux box to get real time pics to my websever?

    I want Linux compatible consumer electronics. I am sick of building my own!
  • Which is it?
  • "Stay a while... stay FOREVER!"
    "Get him my robots"

    Help me... must not get bought out by lame-ass company and be folded out of existence...
  • by the_other_one ( 178565 ) on Wednesday November 13, 2002 @11:34PM (#4665770) Homepage

    A device that will film me smoking after sex and broadcast the image over the internet.

  • by Tomble ( 579119 )
    It even transmit real-time video.
    What, like R2D2?

    Sorry, couldn't resist it.

  • I rather have my dog watch my house for fires. And I bet that robot thingy can't bite the balls off an intruder...
  • All the robots I've bought from this company have had bad motivators.

    What are they trying to push on us?

  • burning (Score:2, Funny)

    If it can smell when things are burning it would be able to tell me when my wife has supper ready
  • Shouldn't... (Score:2, Informative)

    by offpath3 ( 604739 )
    the headline read Sanyo?

    Sanyo is a darned good company, though. They're a huge competitor to Panasonic and if I remember correctly, they were doing better than Panasonic on home appliances in Japan, but just don't have enough name recognition overseas. I got to take a tour of one of their R&D headquarters in Osaka over the summer, and I must say, they've got some really cool stuff in very thin, high resolution displays in the works. Hopefully this new robot will get them some of the name recognition they need outside of Japan.
  • Why a robot? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sapgau ( 413511 )
    I still don't understand the fascination for Robots in Japan.

    It is obviously part of the japanese culture to contemplate a robot as an ideal solution for this sort of problems and that serious money is invested in reaching that goal. It's also clear how that is not the case in western cultures, just look at the amount of "Funny" posts on this topic.

    Now if I would be contemplating having one I see two big problems right away:
    -How is it really going to navigate in the mess I have in my appartment, hell I can't.
    -How is it supposed to stop intruders when this robot is the single most expensive thing I have in the house! (I bet is not cheap)

    The only explanation I can come up with is that is yet another toy for the japanese high class.

    IMHO

  • 1000 mm long (1meter, over 3ft) robot but only can go over gaps of 150mm (less than 6 inches)

    wtf? that's like saying I can't step over gaps of 1 feet.

    screw THAT.

    as much as this (middle of page) [zzz.com.ru] is unethical, i think it will do better.

    and it's SANYO, not SHARP. get it straight, yall.

    p.s. the link is april fools joke. don't flame me.

    • 1000 mm long (1meter, over 3ft) robot but only can go over gaps of 150mm (less than 6 inches)
      wtf? that's like saying I can't step over gaps of 1 feet.


      Well..this thing hasn't had a million or so years of developnment.
  • it WILL kill me in my sleep
  • Banryu? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Steve G Swine ( 49788 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @12:01AM (#4665898) Journal
    Please god tell me it's not purple...

    "I love you, you love me, I'm robot se-cur-i-tee..."
  • I think "ryu" in Japanese means dragon (hence why it looks like a dragon). What does "ban" add to it? Anyone know, out of curiosity.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @12:14AM (#4665941) Homepage
    Most of these walking robots still walk at the wind-up toy level. They don't have the accelerometers, rate gyros, and algorithms for dynamic walking, let alone running. They should; those parts aren't that big or expensive any more, because they're used in auto stability control systems.

    The big Honda humanoid robot has it right, but costs too much.

    Went to a talk at Stanford today on low-cost stereo vision systems. Those have been around for years, but they're about to get cheap. Unfortunately, the killer apps are security-related, but the robotics community will benefit anyway.

    We're getting close to actually being able to do this stuff right, after decades of frustration in the robotics community.

    • Ummm, the speed is 15 meters a minute, in English measurements, that's almost 50 feet in one minute's time... Almost 3 times the speed of the Asimo robot...

      The average geek is fortunate if they can manage that speed on foot... Needless to say, it's hardly a crawl...
    • So you think the killer app for low cost stereo vision will be security-related?

      Ummm, what about PRON? Imagine the lonely guys at home seeing Boobies with both eyes.

      They would pay good money for that I'm sure.

    • Don't work on robot locomotion, do you?

      There are no truly dynamic non-planar walkers right now, and just adding sensors doesn't fix the problem; it's still extremely difficult. The nice thing about a quadruped is that the walk doesn't necesarily need to be feedback based (Oscillator designs are nice but they have yet to yield a practical 3d walker). The main problem is still actuator strength (as postulated by the MIT leg lab), not really balance or sensors.

      That said, I'm not so impressed by 15m/min. We managed to get Sony Aibos to walk at 13m/min at about one fourth the scale of this thing. Our code is available for people to develop using the OpenR SDK (see https://www.openr.org/page1_2003/), so you could make your own security bot for ~$1500 instead of whatever this thing costs. It doesn't have a nose, but I guess you could always just keep the batteries fresh in your smoke detectors...
      • Don't work on robot locomotion, do you?

        I stick to working in simulation, but I do have some results in that area. See my papers. [animats.com] I've built wheeled robots, and worked with manipulators, but haven't used a physical legged robot yet. I'm hoping that the "Dr Robot" toy mentioned previously will be worth buying and reprogramming.

        There are no truly dynamic non-planar walkers right now, and just adding sensors doesn't fix the problem; it's still extremely difficult.

        The Honda walker is truly dynamic; it does get its CG outside its support polygon. Troody, at the MIT Leg Lab, is a non-planar dynamic walker, but may no longer be working. Dynamic walkers are few, but they exist.

        The nice thing about a quadruped is that the walk doesn't necessarily need to be feedback based. (Oscillator designs are nice but they have yet to yield a practical 3d walker).

        It's got to be feedback based to be any good. An open-loop locomotion system is roughly comparable to wheels.

        I agree about oscillator designs. I spent some time playing with Randall Beer's oscillator-based insect simulation. That's cute, but a dead end.

        Raibert's stuff, most of the later leg lab stuff, and Jessica Hodgins' animations, are basically state machines keying dumb PD controllers. That approach works for simple situations, but takes way too much manual tuning. If you think about it a bit, PD controllers are equivalent to spring/damper systems. So that approach is equivalent to setting the spring constant, damping constant, and zero point of the actuator to canned values. Different sets of canned values are keyed by the state machine. Seen in that light, those controllers are much simpler.

        Real progress will require trajectory control. But that's more than I want to get into right now.

        The main problem is still actuator strength (as postulated by the MIT leg lab), not really balance or sensors.

        Gil Pratt (is he still at MIT?) was saying that for a while. He's into his "series elastic actuators", screw drives coupled to a stiff spring, which can be made to act like a less-stiff spring by feedback. This gives you the effect of a spring with an adjustable spring constant and zero point, which is what you want. It's inefficient, though; you don't recover much of the energy of a stride. (Muscles act like springs, storing energy from one landing to the next takeoff. Humans get about 60% of the energy back at a run; for horses, it's about 80%).

        Linear motors looked promising for a while, as an alternative to pneumatics or hydraulics, but the best ones came from Aura, which tanked in a financial scandal. A friend of mine, who built a self-balancing unicycle, suggests firing a fuel charge in a cylinder as a linear actuator. Sandia actually does this for a new line of mobile land mines.

  • by coene ( 554338 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @12:23AM (#4665977)
    OK, We've all known that technology was going to begin replacing humans eventually... and in a crazy twist, its the dogs get blindsided out of nowhere!

    Someone, quick, start a non-profit organization to save the dogs!
  • this is all i need, now my PET will bitch about my severe nicotine addiction
  • Hmmmm.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by shr3k ( 451065 )
    "It even transmit real-time video."

    Yeah, I'm going to recommend that all sorrorities on campus deploy these units for, ummm, safety reasons.

  • robots are cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Thursday November 14, 2002 @01:31AM (#4666214) Homepage Journal
    --all the stuff you want a robot to do is not that hard, where they get lame is in the travelling around part. The stickler appears to be so far in the primitive walking. Scratch that, they need wheels or tracks. Make it a lot cheaper. The guy who invented the segway had an ubermobility wheelchair thing. I saw it once at a medical trade show.(well, I think it was his, long time ago now) Turn that badboy into a robot. It could climb stairs, carry serious invalid weight. Start with something like that, trick it out. You could make it 7 feet tall at the top, now THAT might make someone stop and think if it was staring him in the face with lotsa e-vile red glowing blinkenlights and a voice coming out. I guess the little cute robot dragon is better for the very small japanese housing or say a small urban apartment here. For a more mainstream robot in the US it has to be able to negotiate stairs, PLUS grab the dang lawnmower and do the grass. Might as well get some work out of them for their electric bill.

    heh

    --dogs are great, got two. They are small,15 lb'ers, good for fires or intruders for notification purposes. 10 cents of pepper spray or straight ammonia in a squirt gun would knock them out, same as any rottweiler at 150 lbs. That's what I used to use when bicycling and jerks let their packs of mutts chase bikers and cars. Spray, howl, done. Got tired of breaking frame mount air pumps as a club. False security with a dog, useful for detection, not for "security" as regards other humans, not any determined human anyway.. You need a thinking human who's armed and awake for any real security, that and actual for-real barriers to entrance. I think of "guard" dogs as sensors and kamikaze slower-downers to the badguys.

    -no security at your home if the bad guys can get in. No one is all that security conscious most places I've seen. Thick plexi windows and steel reinforced door jams and solid steel doors exist, hardly no one uses them. I've custom installed them for people, and have some friends who did it, but it was always after the fact of getting robbed.

    And a lot of newer houses, sheesh, vinyl siding on the outside,then gyp board,then fiberglass insulation then drywall. Like, all you need to get in someone's new house built like that nowadays-and quietly- is a simple razor knife right through the wall, skip the doors and windows. It's a problem not advertised much in the press.
    • The guy [dekaresearch.com] who invented the segway [segway.com] had an ubermobility wheelchair thing [msnbc.com].

      Enjoy.
    • And a lot of newer houses, sheesh, vinyl siding on the outside,then gyp board,then fiberglass insulation then drywall. Like, all you need to get in someone's new house built like that nowadays-and quietly- is a simple razor knife right through the wall, skip the doors and windows. It's a problem not advertised much in the press.

      I hear you there - my wife's sister and brother-in-law bought a house not too long ago, and he hit a golf ball clean through an exterior wall! There wasn't even any chicken wire to stop it. Not that it would have mattered:

      We had a case out in Scottsdale, AZ where a couple of burgleries occurred by the the guys using a chainsaw to cut through the exterior wall.

      Fact of the matter is, if someone wants in, they will find a way (of course, if you have solid block construction with security bars/shutters on the windows, and a good alarm system, with video - you probably won't have many problems)...

  • That's a good idea -- I wouldn't want Ryu [mit.edu] coming into my home and hadouken-ing the place up.

  • techno garbage (Score:2, Interesting)

    My dog is a freakin genius. He never barks at anything but strangers and kills everything smaller than him that gets into the house. Never had a fire but he came and bugged me once till I realized I had left the oven on. Sure, a robot doesn't crap in the yard but it also doesn't care about you. Call me old fashioned but technology just can't replace some things. Lets see that piece of crap catch a frisbee
  • Sounds like some sort of anti- Street Fighter [slashdot.org] clan...

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