Telexistence Robot Avatar Transmits Sight, Hearing and Touch - TELESAR V
TELESAR V is a telexistence robot system, being researched by a group at Keio University led by Professor Tachi. Telexistence is a concept first advocated by Professor Tachi in the 1980s. The aim of this technology is to free people from time and space constraints, by using remotely operated robots to interact with the remote environment.
"What you can do with this telexistence robot is, you can see the things you usually see, even at a remote location. If you're a physician, for example, to examine a patient, you need to extend your hands. With this system, you have hands that you can move just like your own. You can also hear what's going on around you. Those are the first things we've achieved with this system. And now, as a feature of TELESAR V, we've added sensors that communicate what the robot's fingers are touching, and a system to feed the touch sensation back to the operator. This technology makes it possible to operate the robot as your avatar, and feel what you're touching, even if you're a long distance away."
The operator uses a 3D head mounted display which covers the entire field of view, to see exactly what the robot can see. The sense of touch, recorded using force vectors and temperature data obtained by the robot's sensors, is also transmitted to the operator allowing them to feel the shape and temperature of objects. Currently, the robot can recognize surface unevenness as fine as that on Lego blocks.
"The robot consists of a body, arms, and hands. The body has 7 degrees of freedom, the head has 8, and the arm joints have 7, like a person's arms. The robot's hands can't move as freely as a person's, but they do come very close, with 15 degrees of freedom."
"Our aim is to make it feel as if you're really in another place, and this is really your body, and to enable you to do the things you can with your own body."