AI & Telepresence

For more than 6 years, European Software Institute - Center Eastern Europe, and consequently its robo-lab, esIrobot, are actively researching the field of robotics and telepresence, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) methods and tools for education and social rehabilitation and integration (specifically with regards to youth with ASD). We are partnering with our friends from the Institute for Software Research of the Carnegie Mellon University (ISR-CMU) and the Software Engineering Institute of the Carnegie Mellon University (SEI-CMU) for the creation of adaptable, flexible, and evolvable solutions for social rehabilitation and education.https://www.isri.cmu.edu

Check out some of our favorite moments below:

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Telepresence refers to a set of technologies which allow a person to feel as if they were present, to give the appearance of being present, or to have an effect, via telerobotics, at a place other than their true location. Telepresence robots are very popular among the general public due to the widely diverse use cases they are being used in. Corporate offices, schools, hospitals, business warehouses, medical clinics and many more are now using telepresence robots to take prudent advantage of its latest technology.

In computer science, artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals. Leading AI textbooks define the field as the study of "intelligent agents": any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is often used to describe machines (or computers) that mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as "learning" and "problem-solving".

Artificial intelligence (AI) holds incredible promise for transforming our software-driven world in general and DoD mission capabilities in particular. AI can compute more data more quickly than even automated software. That computational advantage allows us to make the most of human-machine teaming, freeing humans to focus their attention on the types of tasks they do best.

Our equipment is accessible for R&D use upon request! Meet some of our robots!

NAO

(humanoid robot)

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What is NAO? 58cm in height, NAO is a bipedal robot with pleasantly rounded features. He is the first robot created by SoftBank Robotics. Famous around the world, NAO is a tremendous programming tool and he has especially become a standard in education and research. NAO is also famously used as an assistant by companies and healthcare centers to welcome, inform and entertain visitors. NAO is fully programmable with a graphical interface, or directly with the Software Development Kit (SDK) and coding tools:

  • Choregraphe: an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to program with an easy drag-and-drop interface and with Python.
  • Software Development Kit (SDK): gives access to the complete set of features of Pepper and NAO. It is available in Python and C++.

NAO has 25 degrees of freedom which enable him to move and adapt to his environment. He further has 7 programable touch sensors located on the head, hands and feet, sonars and an inertial unit to perceive his environment and locate himself in space. Equipped with 4 directional microphones and speakers, and with speech recognition and dialogue available in over 15 languages, NAO interacts with humans and is a perfect medium for social rehabilitation and education. His two 2D cameras are used to recognize shapes, objects, and even people and the best of all - NAO is an open and fully programmable platform.

What are the applications of NAO? NAO is the perfect assistant for educators. His visual and intuitive interface makes the content creation process easier, allowing customized teaching activities on either a one-to-one basis or small groups. Humanoid robots introduce new and attractive pedagogical topics and apply PBL (Project-Based Learning) approaches. They help students develop problem-solving and analytical skills, required to succeed in a knowledge-based and highly technological society.

Furthermore, NAO easily creates an empathetic link with children and inspires them for physical and intellectual exercises to develop social and emotional skills. Humanoid robots have been used for a while now to implement effective inclusive practices and promote education with IEP (Individualized Education Program) for students with disabilities such as autism, emotional and behavioral disorders.

Our two very emotional robots - ESSIKO & ESSIKA help children reduce shyness, reluctance, un-confidence, and frustration, improving social skills and self-esteem.

Last but not least, these robots are versatile and high-performing machines, which meet the expectations of academics and researchers. They are advanced platforms for in-depth study such as human-machine interaction, cognitive computing, and autonomous navigation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other forms of applied research.


 

VGo

(robotic telepresence)

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What is VGo? VGo is an all-in-one solution that includes everything you need to establish your physical presence in a distant location.

Using a dedicated software application on a PC or Mac, an internet-connected person located anywhere instantly connects to a VGo in a distant facility – giving them the ability to not only interact with the people who are there but also to move around under their own control just like you would if you were there in person.

The VGo is 100% remote-controlled by the remote person and can be shared by a set of people or dedicated to a single person using standard web accounts and permission settings maintained by the user.

VGo is uniquely integrated with a camera, microphones, and video display - all on a light-weight, motorized, stylish, remote-controlled platform. VGo is optimized at 4 feet tall so it works equally well when interacting with people who are sitting or standing. An accessory raises the height to 5 feet for applications where people are always standing or where you need to have a higher view.  And of course, you can look anywhere – up, down, all around. You can move delicately around tight spaces, slowly pan around the room or join a colleague walking down the hall. VGo is battery powered and can run up to a full day between charges.

What are the applications of VGo? VGo is a flexible tool that can be applied to a wide variety of organizational and financial problems.

Patient monitoring is but one of many ways VGo is being used in healthcare organizations to overcome resource issues. Remote visiting for the growing elder care market and medical staff training at a distance are other popular applications.

VGo is being used successfully today by schools for their students who can’t physically go to school due to an illness, accident or medical condition. VGo gets the student back to the traditional schooling environment by providing a physical device that replicates the student while away from the hospital. It is operated in real-time by the student (not the teacher or an aid) so they feel empowered with their independence. VGo enables students to:

  • Receive the same instruction as their peers
  • Move around/between classrooms independently
  • Socialize with friends in the hallways and at lunch
  • Participate in a full school day with their classmates

Last but not least, VGo helps companies of all sizes overcome distance, manage remote teams, be at many locations at once and tackle unforeseen problems, cost-effectively while increasing organizational productivity.


 

Intelligent mobile robotic platform

(Customised Research Robotic Platform)

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What is this platform? This is a customized mobile research robotic platform equipped with sensors, micro-controllers, a very high-performance embedded computer, mount-in PC camera, WiFi, GPS/ DGPS, and a motion-sensing input device.

The platform is fully programmable via the open-source platform. It provides tools and libraries for obtaining, building, writing, and running code across multiple computers. Language independent: the ROS framework is easy to implement in any modern programming language.

Some primary tasks performed by the platform are independent movement, face, and object detection, as well as recognition, speech recognition, following objects, motion control, performance of different types of research activities including running Artificial Intelligence applications and tasks.

What are the applications of this platform? This platform is primarily used in applied research and education, including research in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is equipped to perform rapid, iterative delivery of robust AI-enabled capabilities and with its open-source environment, it is fully customizable, adaptable and flexible to perform variety of tasks and applications, including:

  • unfamiliar environment investigation
  • object detection and recognition
  • face detection and recognition
  • speech recognition
  • motion and sensing control
  • interface designs for effective human-machine teaming

The platform is equipped with multiple tools and libraries for obtaining, building, writing, and running code across multiple computers.