We first heard concerning the child-like iCub humanoid robotic again in 2011, when it was nominated to participate within the Olympic Torch Relay. The most recent and best model, the iCub 3, was the star of a recently-announced (and fairly spectacular) telepresence demonstration.
Developed on the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Know-how, or IIT), the biped iCub 3 incorporates a complete of 53 actuated levels of freedom – seven in every arm, 9 in every hand, six within the head, three within the torso/waist and 6 in every leg. Its head incorporates swivelling stereo cameras which function eyes, twin microphones for ears, and animated traces of LEDs which signify its mouth and eyebrows inside its face panel.
Tactile sensors inside every of its fingertips moreover give the robotic a way of contact. It is 25 cm taller and 19 kg heavier than earlier fashions, topping out at 1.25 m (4 ft, 1 in) and tipping the scales at 52 kg (115 lb). Different enhancements embody a higher-capacity battery (situated within the torso versus on the again); extra highly effective leg motors for quicker strolling speeds; higher, extra human-like steadiness and locomotion; plus a brand new depth-sensing digicam.
For the demo – which befell on Nov. eighth, 2021 – the robotic was situated on the seventeenth Worldwide Structure Exhibition’s Italian Pavilion in Venice, whereas its operator was 300 km (186 mi) away at an IIT lab within the metropolis of Genova. A normal fiber optic connection was used to hyperlink the 2.
The operator utilized a collection of wearable units, which is named the iFeel system. These devices embody a number of IMUs (inertial measurement items) positioned at varied areas on a physique go well with; “gloves” that each observe the person’s finger actions and relay tactile sensations from the robotic’s finger pads; and a VR headset – the latter tracks the person’s facial expressions, eyelids and eye actions, picks up their voice, plus it permits them to see what the robotic is seeing, and to listen to what it is listening to.
Moreover, the operator stood in a VR rig that allowed them to stroll on the spot.
This mixture of applied sciences let robotic function an avatar for the operator, because it walked across the pavilion, had a dialog with a human tour information, shook their hand, and even hugged them – for the latter, haptic suggestions items within the torso of the physique go well with let the operator really feel that hug. All the pieces occurred in actual time, with a lag of only some milliseconds.
“We consider that this analysis path has an incredible potential in lots of fields,” mentioned the mission’s coordinator, IIT’s Daniele Pucci. “On the one hand, the current pandemic taught us that superior telepresence techniques may turn into obligatory in a short time throughout completely different fields, like healthcare and logistics. However, avatars might enable individuals with extreme bodily disabilities to work and achieve duties in the actual world by way of the robotic physique. This can be an evolution of rehabilitation and prosthetics applied sciences.”
Highlights from the iCub 3 demonstration could be seen within the following video.
iCub 3 Avatar System – Tele esistenza