From remote tourism to metaverse, a new robotic avatar made in Italy

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Researchers demonstrated that the system transports the operator locomotion, manipulation, voice, and face expressions to the robotic avatar, whereas receiving visible, auditory, haptic and contact feedbacks. That is the primary time {that a} system with all these options is examined utilizing a legged humanoid robotic for distant tourism in order that the human operator could really feel and expertise the place the avatar is. Credit: IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Feeling and shifting in a spot with out being there may be the principle objective of the brand new iCub robotic superior telexistence system, additionally referred to as the iCub3 avatar system, developed by researchers at IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Expertise) in Genova, Italy. The brand new system was examined in a web based demonstration involving a human operator based mostly in IIT, Genova, and a brand new model of the humanoid robotic, the iCub 3, visiting the Italian Pavilion on the seventeenth Worldwide Structure Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia; the 2 websites are 300 km aside and the communication relied on fundamental optical fiber connection. Researchers demonstrated that the system transports the operator locomotion, manipulation, voice and facial expressions to the robotic avatar, whereas receiving visible, auditory, haptic and contact suggestions. That is the primary take a look at of a legged humanoid robotic for distant tourism and conferring the expertise to a human operator. The system is a prototype and could also be additional developed for different eventualities, together with catastrophe response, healthcare and metaverse purposes.

This consequence was obtained by the analysis staff coordinated by Daniele Pucci, principal investigator of the Synthetic and Mechanical Intelligence (AMI) Lab at IIT in Genova. Certainly one of their analysis objectives is to develop humanoid robots that play the function of avatars, specifically a robotic physique that acts rather than people with out substituting them, however permitting them to be the place they can not.

“We believe that this research direction has a tremendous potential in many fields,” explains Daniele Pucci. “On the one hand, the recent pandemic taught us that advanced telepresence systems might become necessary very quickly across different fields, like healthcare and logistics. On the other hand, avatars may allow people with severe physical disabilities to work and accomplish tasks in the real world via the robotic body. This may be an evolution of rehabilitation and prosthetics technologies.”

The system integration was potential because of beforehand developed IIT applied sciences. The robot iCub3 is at the moment being developed at IIT and represents a brand new model of the iCub robotic; the wearable applied sciences, named iFeel, had been developed within the EU-funded venture AnDy in collaboration with the Nationwide Institute for Insurance towards Accidents at Work (INAIL).

The brand new iCub robotic superior teleoperation system permits a human operator to go to remotely the Italian Pavilion on the seventeenth Worldwide Structure Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, staying 300 kilometers away. Researchers used a brand new model of the humanoid robotic iCub, the iCub3. Credit: IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

A complicated software program structure, designed by the IIT researchers, controls and manages the interconnection between the iCub3 robotic and the iFeel system. Additionally, this software program infrastructure permits the mixing of business wearable applied sciences, which full the iCub3 avatar system. As an illustration, the distant person walks in place inside a virtual-reality platform that enables free upper-body motion.

The iCub3 robotic is 25 cm taller than the earlier iCub variations, measuring 1.25 m and is thus a extra enough platform to work together inside a human setting. Its steadiness and locomotion are extra strong and capable of emulate human actions and bodily interplay higher. The robotic is, due to this fact, greater—weighing 52 kg vs 33 kg—and has extra highly effective motors in its legs for sooner locomotion. Furthermore, the iCub3 robotic additionally differs from the earlier platform for a special actuation mechanics, not based mostly on cable-driven joints. On the sensors facet, it has an extra depth digicam and power sensing of the most recent technology withstanding larger robotic weight. Lastly, iCub3 has a better capability battery, which is positioned inside the torso meeting as a substitute of being included in a rigidly hooked up backpack.

Within the demonstration realized by working the system from Genova to Venice and backward, the IIT wearable iFeel suite tracks operator’s physique motions and the avatar system transfers them onto the iCub3 in Venice, which then strikes because the person does in Genova. The person can also be supplied with a headset that tracks the person expressions, eyelids, and eye motions. These head options are projected onto the avatar, which reproduces them with a excessive degree of constancy: the avatar and human share related facial expressions. The person wears sensorized gloves that monitor hand motions and, on the similar time, present haptic suggestions.

Because of the avatar system, the distant person can smile, speak and shake arms with the information in Venice. Analogously, when the information hugs the avatar in Venice, the operator in Genova feels the hug because of the IIT’s iFeel swimsuit that additionally supplies higher physique haptics. Furthermore, the dialog between the distant person in Genova and the information in Venice is feasible because of techniques that file and transmit the operator voice, reproduced by the avatar in Venice.

From remote tourism to metaverse, the new robotic avatar is made in Italy
The iCub3 avatar system is especially composed by the robotic iCub3, which is at the moment being developed at IIT and represents a brand new model of the iCub robotic, and the wearable applied sciences – named iFeel – born within the EU-funded venture AnDy and additional developed in collaboration with the Nationwide Institute for Insurance towards Accidents at Work (INAIL) for purposes in actual circumstances state of affairs. Credit: IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

The transmission was streamed on an ordinary optical fiber web connection, leading to solely few milliseconds of delay.

“Our iCub 3 avatar system is validated on a legged humanoid robot allowing remote verbal, non-verbal and physical interaction, which represents a perfect starting point when looking for platforms to emulate humans for all interaction aspects,” says Daniele Pucci. “What I also see in our near future is the application of this system to the so-called metaverse, which is actually based on immersive and remote human avatars.”

The director-general of up to date creativity of the Ministry of Tradition and Commissioner of the Italian Pavilion, Onofrio Cutaia, stated, “With great pleasure, we received the proposal to collaborate with the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova on this project. We really would like to thank Arch. Alessandro Melis, curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia, for sharing our enthusiasm and interacting with iCub 3 in a surprising dialog between man and robot. A unique opportunity to promote contemporary cultural heritage through new forms of communication. We firmly believe that interdisciplinarity and interaction between languages is the real challenge to be faced, and this is what the Directorate-General will focus on in the coming years.”


Improved remote control of robots


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From distant tourism to metaverse, a brand new robotic avatar made in Italy (2022, March 16)
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