French startup Pollen Robotics has come up with a novel way to teleoperate their open-source robot called Reachy. The humanoid which can now be controlled using virtual reality will allow the users to execute potentially complex tasks from anywhere in the world through their VR headsets.
Matthieu Lapeyre, CEO and Cofounder of Pollen Robotics, said, “Using a VR device — [a] headset and controllers — a human can take full control of Reachy.”
“You see exactly what Reachy sees in 3D through its dual camera, and Reachy replicates your head and hands motions. You can control the gripper with the controllers’ triggers, and get haptic feedback from the controller vibrations. It’s really like you were ‘in’ the robot to do the job. It works through the network, you can be either close or far away from Reachy, as long as you have a proper internet connection it will work the same,” he added.
The robot comes in two variants – a standalone arm costing $9,000 or a full half-body system costing $17,000. This only open-source humanoid robot platform available on the market can execute a variety of tasks from writing to playing games.
Owing to its versatility, the robot could be employed for a variety of applications. Training the robot is also a simple process and doesn’t require hours of complex coding.
The robot could be an effective learning facilitator for classrooms or even a robust testing platform for startups. The accompanying VR application also seems exciting and can potentially be adopted for several other uses. The platform is expected to be launched for the end users soon.
Lapeyre also said, “[This] was initially designed to be accessible only by people having a Reachy platform, but we have been overwhelmed by requests from the VR community to [have a go].”
“We are now trying to figure out how to offer the possibility for people with VR to play with our Reachy, set-up a fun playground, and [maybe even] stream it on Twitch.”
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