With the iCub 3 robot, individuals can fully immerse themselves in a different reality by donning a virtual reality headset and utilising haptic feedback gloves.
Imagine being transported hundreds of kilometres away from an event, yet still feeling the exhilaration of the action through a humanoid robot. This incredible invention has the power to send visual and tactile experiences to an individual using haptic feedback gloves and a virtual reality headset.
The iCub 3 robot is an impressive creation, standing at a height of 125 cm. It boasts a total of 54 joints, carefully crafted from a combination of plastic and aluminium materials. The weight of the object is 52 kg. With an internet-connected computer nestled within its skull, it’s a far cry from the traditional human brain and two eyes. The robot’s processing unit analyses information from its multiple cameras and sensors distributed across its body. By donning a suit and virtual reality headset, a remote human operator can fully immerse themselves in these sensations.
The suit’s sensors can detect the operator’s movements, enabling the robot to replicate them with remarkable precision. “It is crucial to translate every signal and bit of numeric data that can be sent through the network,” emphasises Stefano Dafarra, a member of the iCub 3 team at the Italian Institute of Technology. By making small adjustments to their movements, the operator can reduce the potential delay in capturing and transmitting the visual footage, which can be as short as 100 milliseconds.
A remotely operated robot from Genoa successfully manoeuvred through the exhibit halls at the Venice Biennale, demonstrating its impressive capabilities.
Dafarra is confident that the iCub 3 will provide a wider range of people with the opportunity to enjoy events from the convenience of their own homes. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the robot is at risk of sustaining considerable damage in the event of a fall, and there is still uncertainty surrounding its ability to autonomously recover.
Jonathan Aitken, a researcher from the University of Sheffield in the UK, shares his enthusiasm for the iCub 3 robot and emphasises its significant improvements compared to its predecessor. Aitken’s lab currently has an earlier version of this impressive robot. Nevertheless, he voices his disappointment regarding the crew’s mishandling of the study on the new robot’s data transmission requirements. “It would be highly advantageous,” he comments, emphasising the importance of having a clear understanding of the data requirements, including the upper and lower bounds.
Experience Reality Remotely with the iCub 3 Robot:
Get in the action: Slip on a VR headset and haptic gloves, and the iCub 3 becomes your portal to distant events. Feel the thrill of a concert or explore a museum, hundreds of miles away.
High-tech humanoid: Standing tall at 4 feet, the iCub 3 is a marvel of engineering with 54 joints and advanced sensors. Its internet-connected brain processes visual and tactile data relayed to the operator in real-time.
Move like the robot: Your suit translates your gestures, and the robot mimics them in a split second. It’s an intricate dance of data, ensuring a seamless virtual experience.
Real-world debut: Witnessing the iCub 3 navigate the Venice Biennale, one can glimpse the future of remote presence.
More than just fun: Beyond entertainment, the iCub 3 has the potential to bring events to those who couldn’t otherwise attend.
Challenges remain: Falling can damage the robot, and autonomous recovery needs work. Data transmission details also need clarification.
Journal Reference: Science Robotics
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