Virtual Reality Market to boost with the development of Virtual Telepresence Robot

Posted On March 18, 2021     

Virtual Reality (VR) refers to a stimulation experience that can either be similar or quite different from the present reality. The technology is used for several applications such as entertainment (such as video games) and education (such as military and medical training). Other types of VR-related technology include mixed reality and augmented reality which is sometimes also referred to as extended reality or XR.

As a new development in the Virtual Reality Market, two students have created a virtual telepresence robot that will enable users to look at the happenings of a remote location. It will make them feel as they were actually present there. This is good progress for the market as this news will bring forward a valuable example of how robots may help capture video data in real-time. Moreover, it can also be understood how the places that are momentarily or permanently inaccessible to human beings can be monitored.

The researchers revealed that the project was inspired by an article referring to telepresence robots that were published in a magazine by the name “Electronics for You.” The team's main aim was to allow users to see things in real-time while they are happening at very distant locations. To achieve this objective, a robot with an onboard camera was created. It has Wi-Fi capabilities that capture videos and allow users to watch them on their smartphones right away through an internet browser or virtual reality headsets.

The team stated that video captures by the robot’s camera could be transmitted directly to the user’s smartphone. This, in turn, can also be placed in a VR box or headset, giving the ability to the users to view the environment in VR as if they were actually navigating it. The individual using the device would experience being present at that remote location as the robot’s onboard camera moves in synchronization with the user’s head movement.

In the beginning, researchers controlled the robot’s movements and streamed the videos using an Arduino microcontroller and a Raspberry Pi (a minicomputer with no screen). To ensure that the user's head movements and the robot’s camera were always in tandem, accelerometers and gyroscopes were leveraged.

The team has revealed that they are not ready to commercialize the robot as their work could inspire the advancement of virtual telepresence tools. In the near future, these robots might use streaming videos of secluded or dangerous places or view one’s home or neighborhood environment when one is away.

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