Monday January 27, 2020
Home Lead Story Researchers D...

Researchers Develop an App which will Convert your Phone into Robot

The phone is both the eyes and brain for the robot, controlling its navigation and tasks

0
//
robot app
The app offers options for how those tasks can be performed, such as under a certain time limit, on repeat or after a machine has done its job. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a smartphone application that allows a user to easily programme any robot to perform a task, dramatically bringing down the costs of building and programming mobile robots.

The researchers demonstrated this app with robots watering a plant, vacuuming and transporting objects. A study on the embedded app, called VRa, was presented at DIS 2019 in San Diego.

“Smaller companies can’t afford software programmers or expensive mobile robots, we’ve made it to where they can do the programming themselves, dramatically bringing down the costs of building and programming mobile robots,” said the study’s lead author Karthik Ramani, a researcher of Indian origin from the Purdue University in the US.

phone robot, robot, robot app
The app provides an option to automatically record video when the phone is docked, so that the user can play it back and evaluate a workflow. Wikimedia Commons

Using Augmented Reality (AR), the app allows the user to either walk out where the robot should go to perform its tasks or draw out a workflow directly into real space. The app offers options for how those tasks can be performed, such as under a certain time limit, on repeat or after a machine has done its job.

After programming, the user drops the phone into a dock attached to the robot. While the phone needs to be familiar with the type of robot it’s ‘becoming’ to perform tasks, the dock can be wirelessly connected to the robot’s basic controls and motor, said the researchers.

The phone is both the eyes and brain for the robot, controlling its navigation and tasks. “As long as the phone is in the docking station, it is the robot, whatever you move about and do is what the robot will do,” he added.

robot app, phone robot, robot
Using Augmented Reality (AR), the app allows the user to either walk out where the robot should go to perform its tasks or draw out a workflow directly into real space. Wikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: New Tool may Help Humans and Robots Work Together in Close Proximity

To get the robot to execute a task that involves wirelessly interacting with another object or machine, the user simply scans the QR code of that object or machine while programming, effectively creating a network of so-called Internet of Things. Once docked, the phone (as the robot) uses information from the QR code to work with the objects.

The app provides an option to automatically record video when the phone is docked, so that the user can play it back and evaluate a workflow. (IANS)

Next Story

Robot Equipped with Emotion-Sensing Heads to International Space Station

Emotion-sensing Robot Heads to Space Station to Help Astronauts

0
Robot
Bret Greenstein, IBM Global Vice President of Watson Internet of Things Offerings, holds a clone of an artificial intelligence bot named CIMON, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. VOA

An intelligent robot equipped with emotion-sensing voice detectors was headed to the International Space Station after launching from Florida on Thursday, becoming the latest artificial intelligence-powered astronaut workmate in orbit.

The Crew Interactive Mobile Companion 2, or CIMON 2, is a spherical droid with microphones, cameras and a slew of software to enable emotion recognition.

The droid was among 5,700 pounds (2,585 kg) of supplies and experiments aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, whose midday launch had been delayed from Wednesday because of high winds.

Create a companion

“The overall goal is to really create a true companion. The relationship between an astronaut and CIMON is really important,” Matthias Biniok, the lead architect for CIMON 2, told Reuters. “It’s trying to understand if the astronaut is sad, is he angry, joyful and so on.”

Based on algorithms built by information technology giant IBM Corp and data from CIMON 1, a nearly identical prototype that launched in 2018, CIMON 2 will be more sociable with crew members. It will test technologies that could prove crucial for future crewed missions in deep space, where long-term isolation and communication lags to Earth pose risks to astronauts’ mental health.

Robot companion
The overall goal of creating this robot is to create a true companion. (Representational Image). Lifetime Stock

While designed to help astronauts conduct scientific experiments, the English-speaking robot is also being trained to help mitigate groupthink — a behavioral phenomenon in which isolated groups of humans can be driven to make irrational decisions.

“Group-thinking is really dangerous,” Biniok said. In times of conflict or disagreement among astronauts, one of CIMON’s most important purposes would be to serve as “an objective outsider that you can talk to if you’re alone, or could actually help let the group collaborate again,” he said.

Inspired by Professor Simon, HAL

Engineers have said CIMON’s concept was inspired by a 1940s science fiction comic series set in space, where a sentient, brain-shaped robot named Professor Simon mentors an astronaut named Captain Future. CIMON 2 also parallels HAL, the sentient computer in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” film.

Also Read- Measles Kills 140,000 people, WHO disappointed

SpaceX is the first private company to fly to the space station, a $100 billion project of 15 nations. Along with CIMON 2, the cargo aboard its 19th resupply mission to the orbital research lab included 40 live mice that will show scientists how muscles change in the microgravity of space. (VOA)