Imagine being able to organize a vacation without even having to leave your home. A new robot being developed in Italy could simplify the whole process. With the push of a button, humans will be able to send robots on vacation for them.
Gone on vacation
Vacations are for relaxing. That’s why you shouldn’t waste your time booking a hotel or looking for tours online. The cost and hassle involved can detract from the enjoyment of the trip.
Virtual reality is a world where machines and humans are so connected that they can see, touch and feel everything their robotic counterparts can experience. Researchers have developed a way to allow human users to enter the metaverse using bots.
The greatest joy is anticipation
So how’s it going in this brave new world? Well, for you, a vacation in the Metaverse means adventure. In a way, you replace your body with a robotic avatar.
Virtual travel is the future of travel, and it’s here now. The metaverse is a virtual world where you can explore any place in the world. The idea of being able to travel immediately at any time is not yet an option for the general public. However, the first tests with the robots look promising.
iCub makes travel dreams come true
The iCub Robot Advanced Teleexistence System, also known as the iCub3 Avatar System, was designed with motor skills in mind.
The iCub robot is an intelligent android designed to learn faster than any other robot to date. It can be used in advanced teleoperation situations and experiments where a human interacts remotely with the robotic system.
Technological advances from Genoa, Italy
The Italian Institute of Technology is working on a project to develop a fully autonomous telepresence robot. A number of advanced technologies are used in this project, including haptics and computer vision.
These allow researchers to create a very precise tactile interface that allows the user to feel, hear and see through the robot.
Exploring the metaverse will be a truly satisfying experience. It’s more than the next generation of VR, it’s what comes after VR.
What is reported on the prototype
Researchers from the University of Genoa recently demonstrated their iCub robot. The robot was sent 300 km to visit the international architecture exhibition in Venice. The robot used simple optical fibers to communicate with a human operator in Venice.
This experiment involves three actors: robots, virtual reality and human operators. The ultimate test was to see if a remote operator could experience everything a robot does.
— IIT (@IITalk) March 21, 2022
The operator felt everything the robot was doing. This is the first time that a system with all these properties has been tested using a legged humanoid robot. It was also the first human-robot interaction experiments for long-distance tourism.
Many areas of application for the future
This prototype shows the applications of augmented reality (AR) in the Metaverse, a virtual experience accessible with technologies such as high definition glasses.
This would be one of the first use cases that would take virtual reality from an isolated experience to a shared experience. This demonstration could transfer the potential of this prototype to other existing industries.
Italian researchers say this robot, called iCub, could usher in a new era of remote tourism pic.twitter.com/cAnIQl2Xmx
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 19, 2022
The prototypes will be used in a number of scenarios, e.g. B. in disaster relief, healthcare and entertainment. Traditionally, models have to be programmed using low-level APIs which complicate the workflow, but with Bullet Train we can simplify the process by defining high-level functions.
The goal: a vacation in the Metaverse
The principal researcher, Daniele Pucci, is the founder of the AMI laboratory at the Genoa Institute of Technology. He and his team are focused on developing robotic bodies to replace humans in dangerous places and everyday situations.
These humanoid robots are designed to behave like humans, not to replace them. Its goal is to make people appear where they normally can’t go. Pucci said the robot can have two uses in the Metaverse:
The iCub3 avatar system uses wearable technology and algorithms. These are used to control the iCub3 physical avatar. They can therefore also be used to control digital avatars in the metaverse.
There is also another purpose for which this technology can be useful. Pucci goes on to say:
The algorithms and simulation tools researchers have developed to control the physical avatar provide a test bed for developing better digital avatars that behave more naturally and realistically.
According to Pucci, the avatar control system must be able to interpret human movements and bring the digital body to life. This system must be part of a digital universe, the Metaverse. He emphasizes this fact with the words:
Before the data is passed from the human to the avatar, the researchers use a simplified metaverse to ensure that the robot’s movements are feasible in the real world.
Start of sales still uncertain
When exactly the robot will be freely available has not yet been confirmed. It is important to know that the functions of the iCub3 avatar robot depend on two important components. These must be fully usable before they can be purchased by consumers.
Metaverse will make available to the Operator a range of wearable technologies, including commercially available products and prototypes that have been tested to established standards. This can be implemented quickly and sales in this area should start soon.
OneRare: the true food of the metaverse
The system itself still needs to be tested further, as it is only a prototype for now. The iCub3 avatar is a prototype system under development. This system must go through the certification process to ensure that it meets consumer standards in each country.
According to Pucci, mixed reality technology has enormous potential in many areas, from education to entertainment:
On the one hand, the recent pandemic has taught us that advanced telepresence systems could very quickly become necessary in various fields such as health and logistics. On the other hand, avatars could allow people with severe physical disabilities to work and complete tasks in the real world using a robotic body. It could be an evolution of rehabilitation and prosthetic technologies.
The good feeling
The demonstration showed one way humans could interact with robots remotely. The iFeel Suit tracks the user’s body movements and transfers them to an avatar of the virtual human.
The avatar moves like the user, which is also possible in places far from each other. The human headset remotely tracks facial expressions, eyelids and eye movements and transfers them to the robot’s face.
— MDPI sensors (@Sensors_MDPI) July 9, 2021
These head-mounted displays offer face tracking and high-fidelity visualizations of such quality that the user feels like they are sharing the same space with their avatar.
Remote users can transfer their normal movements to a robot avatar in the metaverse. The robot can act as a traveler and do things it can’t while the user stays home and watches. Alternatively, the operator can sense what is happening by wearing a special haptic suit.
Pucci said at the protest:
What I see in our near future is the application of this system to what is called the Metaverse, which is actually based on immersive, remote-controlled human avatars.