Wearable robot hitches a ride on human meat-puppets

[From the Plastic Pals blog]

Wearable Robot Hitches A Ride on Human Meat-Puppets

Here’s an unusual robot project from the Tsumaki Telerobotics Laboratory (Yamagata University); a Wearable Robot. The experimental model (Telecommunicator T1) seeks to provide gestural presence that you don’t get from a cellphone conversation. A person connects to the small robot through the internet, controlling where it looks by simply tilting their head. Arm gestures, such as waving, are also possible though limited by the current hardware.

Anything the robot sees is transmitted to the operator via goggles, who can speak and hear through the robot’s speaker and microphone. Thus Telecommunicator T1 can be considered a small telepresence system.  Face-to-Robot conversations are facilitated by its position above the shoulder (roughly at eye-level), however the operator has no real control over where the robot goes, relying entirely on the choices of its human carrier.  Unfortunately the website hasn’t been updated recently, so the fate of this project (circa 2008) is currently unknown, but a highly amusing video follows after the break.

[source: Tsumaki Telerobotics Laboratory (JP)]

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