These kinds of robots could represent us in faraway places, letting us interact with friends, family and coworkers as if we were there.
The NAVIgoid system lets a human guide a robot remotely using body movements.
The human receives physical feedback from the robot's interactions.
A virtual reality component lets the human controller get immersed in the robot's location.
What if you could be in two places at once? Or four? A group of Japanese roboticists envisions a world where we all use robots to visit friends and family, and represent us in distant work sites. They are developing a telepresence robot they think will give humans more physical immersion in remote locations.
"Vision is not enough," said Dzmitry Tsetserukou, an assistant professor at Toyohashi University of Technology's Advanced Interdisciplinary Electric Research Center. "We have to provide tactile feedback to make him or her more involved, and also motion feedback so we can feel more like we are human on the robot side."
Tsetserukou, along with computer science and engineering professor Jun Miura and PhD candidate Sugiyama Junichi, developed a robot called NAVIgoid that enables a human controller to guide it remotely using torso movements, and receive physical feedback from the robot. The robot was recently demonstrated at the SIGGRAPH conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques in Asia.