It wouldn’t be June in Colorado without the Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition. Started back in 2009, the annual event is held in (or nearby) Boulder, CO. While previous years have had an aerial portion of the competition, there was none to be had this year, due to safety reasons.
It's finally here! The culmination of three years of some seriously hard work, the DARPA Robotics Challenge finals. This weekend in Pomona California, you can live-stream the finals and check out what the future will look like. Twenty-four teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 Million in prize money.
With most telepresence robots operating on either an iOS or Android tablet or phone, now you have an alternative. MantaroBot just launched their new Microsoft Surface tablet holder for their TeleMe 2 telepresence robot. It would now appear to be the only telepresence robot out there compatible with Microsoft and a welcome addition for IT staff. While Kubi accepts the Surface, the TeleMe 2 robot is the only mobile platform you can drive around.
Revolve Robotics and Swymed have collaborated to create a HIPAA compliant telepresence robot. The Kubi was developed by Revolve Robotics back in 2012. This compliance is actually quite important, particularly for critical situations. No longer does the doctor have to rely only upon what they see, or think they see, they can have data streaming directly to the app to help them make decisions. In smaller, rural hospitals or even in ambulances, this is going to be the best alternative to a specialist being there in person.
We were pretty excited last month when we saw the release or Origibot's Indiegogo campaign. This low cost telepresence robot has an arm and gripper, truly separating it from the pack of existing bots out there. You now have the ability to interact with the environment you teleport yourself to.
This isn’t a polished consumer product yet, but it’s a really good platform. With it’s Arduino microcontroller, my brain is racing with ideas to included sensors and other attachments. I may need a larger battery. Plastic parts were made from 3D printing, but I can see where the extruded aluminum frame can easily take some Actobotics attachments from Servo City. Yes’ I’ll definitely need a larger battery and a base station for recharging.
Headed to Silicon Valley anytime soon? The place is being invaded by robots. Since August, Savioke’s SaviOne ‘Botlr’ has logged nearly 2500 miles, running around the Aloft Cupertino, while Fellow Robots OSHBot has been roaming the aisles of Orchard Supply Hardware since December. The Robot Economy has left the factory and is headed to a location near you.
Can the telepresence robotics industry learn from the gaming industry? Can a shift in perspective change your experience? I recently got some new glasses with some wide lenses as compared to my face. Wide, like I can see reflections of what is going on behind me wide. Like those super spy sunglasses I wore as a kid with the mirrored edges to see behind you kind of wide. I have some much peripheral vision, it’s like a superpower. Then while glancing through some crowdfunding campaigns I saw the trailer for a first person POV (point of view) action movie. It was only a few minutes long, but all the action got me a little nauseous. Not from the violence, but because I wasn’t immersed in the action myself and had only the visual perception. All the running and jumping, without any other feedback from my body messed with my brain.