Japanese Telexistence Robot Acts Like An Avatar

Japan makes a lot of breakthroughs in robotics periodically and this avatar robot, which mirrors the movements of persons wearing virtual reality suits, is a perfect example of that.

Telesar V, as this telexistence robot is known, was developed by the Telesar team and was found via Daily Mail. Remotely controlled robots are certainly not a novelty, but Telesar V is more than that. It allows the person wearing the virtual reality suit to see through its cameras, hear through its microphones and feel through its… well, gloves. More than that, Telesar is able to move in 7 directions, making it the perfect candidate for uneven terrains. The semiconductors and motors found in the gloves of the robot are able to transmit:

  • Touch
  • Pressure
  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Texture

The future when people are able to use avatar for various activities seems to be quite near.

Mashahiro Furukawa of the Telesar team declared: “What you can do with this telexistence robot is you can see things you normally see, even in a remote location. If you are 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 that we achieved with this system. Now we have added sensors that communicate what the robot’s fingers are touching and a system to feed the touch sensation back to the operator. The technology makes it possible to operate the robot as your avatar and feel what you are touching, even if you are a long distance away.” In addition, Professor Susumu Tachi of Keio University’s Graduate School of Media and Design said that such a robot would permit human access to dangerous environments where human skills are necessary.

This robot has a lot of potential, and as Mashahiro Furukawa mentioned, it could be successfully used in medicine. When a particular surgeon is required for an urgent surgical procedure, getting him/her from home or wherever he/she is may take a lot of time. Since that time can often make the difference between life and death, it would be much easier to put such a robot in the surgery room and a virtual reality suit in the home of each surgeon. This is only an example, but there are a lot more applications for Telesar V. Of course, it could also be used for evil purposes, since a remotely controlled assassin would make the perfect crime.

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