Aubot has unveiled the world’s first commercially available brain-controlled telepresence robot, allowing people with a limited upper limb mobility to attend work or school remotely.
The brain control uses a simple off-shelf brain control interface, the MindWave. Usually used for meditation, it works by tracking a mind’s focus.
Once a person concentrates over a certain threshold, the robot moves. To toggle between going forwards, left, right, or backwards, someone needs only to blink their eyes twice.
The brain control device is easy to set up and calibrate, taking less than 5 minutes from unboxing until it is driving Teleport around.
Aubot’s founder, 2012 Young Australian of the Year and technology entrepreneur Marita Cheng, has created the brain-controlled telepresence robot that speaks and moves just as you’d like it to. MindWave lets the user move the robot by blinking to go left, right, forward or backward. There’s also a touchscreen tablet, cameras and android phone control to allow the user to see and talk freely.
Cheng told Women Love Tech the telepresence robot ‘Teleport’ has a height range from 1.1m – 1.7m tall, has forward and downward facing cameras for ease of navigation and comes with an easy to dock drive-in charger.
The brain control is done using a simple off-shelf brain control interface, the MindWave, that costs less than $200. The brain control device is easy to set up and calibrate, taking less than 5 minutes from unboxing until it is driving Teleport around.
Cheng previously founded international non-profit Robogals, which aims to get girls interested in engineering, and artificial intelligence company Aipoly. Teleport is made by her company Aubot, which makes robotic arms and telepresence robots to connect people.
“I want to bring technology to the world that make things easier for people. Teleport saves on transportation time, saves on travel costs and allows people choice in where they look, who they talk to and where they explore remotely, when they can’t be there in person,” Cheng said.
“Our users say that the experience is 100% better and more immersive than they expected.”
36 year old Anthony Bartl was in a car accident when he was six years old and broke his spinal cord at the highest level. He’s now using the brain control Teleport.
“It’s a real thrill, finding a new ability. I could go through a museum in America, or wherever; see polar bears in the Arctic. You know, people with disabilities acquiring new abilities. I never really got anything to move before with my brain, so that was pretty unbelievable in that sense, Bartl said.
Teleport robot, image from aubot.com
The Teleport, which started shipping in November 2016, has been sold to offices for telecommuting, companies with multiple offices for internal employee interaction, busy executives, in healthcare for sick children in hospitals and to museums.
Teleport has ultrasonic sensors at the front and back to prevent collisions, a wide angle lens for a greater field of view, webbrowser control, Android phone control and uses a touchscreen tablet.
At 1.7m tall, it is comfortable in networking situations or to strike a formidable pose if used by an executive. At 1.1m tall, it can easily be stowed in the back of a car. And anywhere in between those heights, Teleport can sit around meeting tables or talk to people face to face. Teleport costs US $2800 ($3800 AUD + GST), which is inclusive of the tablet and drive-in charger, and works straight out of the box.
Our telepresence robots allow the user to visit, engage with, and explore with other locations through remote control and video call. Project yourself into settings and situations all over the world to interact with others, from your phone or computer.
Learn more about robots on Aubot website.