Robots could soon negate the need for humans to leave the home to sightsee or shop, thanks to new technology that allows them to experience things on their behalf, even including the sense of touch.
Tokyo-based start-up Telexistence Inc. unveiled the technology in the capital on June 12. The system enables robots to remotely provide services for humans, such as seeing exhibitions in museums or shopping for clothes in department stores.
It works by a human user controlling a humanoid robot’s movements and wearing a VR headset to see through its "eyes."
Cameras read the user’s hand and body movements and send the information to the robot to replicate.
Information on sensations such as vibration, pressure and temperature are sent from the robot’s "hands" to the human via sensor-equipped gloves.
Various textures and temperatures can be detected and passed on for the human to feel.
Telexistence aims to use the technology to provide services such as travel and shopping from remote locations, and in the long term, to contribute to the remote medical care industry.
The start-up wants to launch its services by 2019, firstly with museum viewing and clothes shopping experiences.