Virtual reality controlled robotic arm pulls pint in Extend Robotics demo

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Teleoperated robotics company Extend Robotics has demonstrated its virtual reality (VR) controlled robotic arm, with it pulling a pint.

 The Reading-based company has developed the VR remote-controlled robot for commercial use in the service, healthcare, utilities and energy industries.

But on 23 November, it showcased the robotic arm’s human-like dexterity and its ability to be operated remotely in a demonstration of “R.O.B” – robotically optimised bartender.

Chang Liu, Chief Executive of Extend Robotics, said: “Our latest cybernetic bartender robot demo is a great example of an ‘out of the box’ teleoperated robot solution for the service and catering industry.

“We also plan to develop VR-controlled teleoperated robots featuring highly accurate, smooth and consistent, human-like movements to improve safety conditions and boost efficiencies across a number of other sectors: from agriculture and healthcare through to the utilities and energy industry.”

The robot toolkit features real-time, immersive, and intuitive control using VR technologies and reachability to six degrees of freedom.

The VR based user interface creates immersive 3D perception and control. It is cloud-enabled with access to 5G and features scalable data-driven AI for future autonomy.

Furthermore, the company is developing its robot toolkit to be a plug-and-play solution that is low-cost.

Liu added: “Our mission is to democratise dexterous teleoperation at scale over the next three years, designing cost-effective robotic arms capable of remote operation from anywhere in the world, using cloud-based teleoperation software.

“What’s more, we have seen a significant acceleration in the demand for service robots in 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic has given an unexpected boost to the market.”

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