New robot takes augmented reality to a new level

Feb 11, 2013 by Bob Yirka weblog
New robot takes augmented reality to a new level

(Phys.org)—Researchers and engineers at a Japanese company called Different Dimensions have taken the concept of augmented reality to new heights by adding the touch of an avatar to the experience. That touch comes courtesy of a robot they've built that mimics commands sent from an animation generator—it's covered with green material to allow for connecting augmented reality imagery with the real world robot. They call it a "virtual humanoid."

Augmented reality, is of course where information is projected over real-world images in ways that cause them to seem connected. Overlaying arrows on streets to provide , is one example. Another is where a person's name appears in a bubble next to their face. This all is made possible by donning a helmet or that allow the wearer to see through to the real world, but also allows information to be projected onto the glass in front of them that appears to be physically connected to the real world objects.

In this new effort, the researchers thought it would be neat to allow for an animated human being to be projected onto a heads-up device, to create the illusion of conversing, and touching with a computer generated person, making them seem more alive. To make that happen, they created a three dimensional , in software and then a green-material covered that exists in the real world. When a person wearing the goggles looks at the robot, they see the projected image of the avatar—in 3D, overlaid onto the robot. And as if that's not enough, the robot can move its head, torso and arms, which means it can reach out and touch, and be touched by the person wearing the goggles as well, adding a dimension of that has never before been seen with an augmented reality device.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

At this point, the avatar is just that, a computer generated image of an imaginary person. But it's not difficult to see the concept being extended to people sitting in front of 3D (and Kinect devices), allowing for remote virtual touching. Reps for Different Dimensions say the company will be ready to begin taking orders for the new system as early as this March, though prices will be steep, ranging from $4,800 to $5,300.

Explore further: Reflected smartphone transmissions enable gesture control

More information: wingover.jp/

via Gizmag

Related Stories

Virtual reality you can reach out and touch

Jul 01, 2010

A team of European researchers has "virtually" teleported real objects through cyberspace, touched things in virtual reality and even felt the movements of a virtual dance partner.

Virtual reality you can touch (w/ Video)

Aug 19, 2010

Researchers at the Computer Vision Lab at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have developed a method with which they can produce virtual copies of real objects. The copies can be touched and even sent via the Internet. ...

3D graphics, reality fuse on the fly

Mar 04, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Software developed at Oxford University is making it possible to fuse real and 3D computer-generated visuals on the fly.

Japan scientist makes 'Avatar' robot

Feb 10, 2012

A Japanese-developed robot that mimics the movements of its human controller is bringing the Hollywood blockbuster "Avatar" one step closer to reality.

Recommended for you

Oculus unveils new prototype VR headset

12 hours ago

Oculus has unveiled a new prototype of its virtual reality headset. However, the VR company still isn't ready to release a consumer edition.

Wireless sensor transmits tumor pressure

19 hours ago

The interstitial pressure inside a tumor is often remarkably high compared to normal tissues and is thought to impede the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents as well as decrease the effectiveness of radiation ...

Tim Cook puts personal touch on iPhone 6 launch

20 hours ago

Apple chief Tim Cook personally kicked off sales of the iPhone 6, joining in "selfies" and shaking hands with customers Friday outside the company's store near his Silicon Valley home.

Team improves solar-cell efficiency

Sep 19, 2014

New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers, thanks to a collaboration between scientists in the University of Chicago's chemistry department, the Institute for Molecular ...

Calif. teachers fund to boost clean energy bets

Sep 19, 2014

The California State Teachers' Retirement System says it plans to increase its investments in clean energy and technology to $3.7 billion, from $1.4 billion, over the next five years.

User comments : 8

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

grondilu
5 / 5 (3) Feb 11, 2013
It's hard not to notice that the avatar on the picture is a female. Don't want to sound like a perv, but an obvious application for such a system is difficult to ignore.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2013
You could do this with real people who are doing this to you.
grondilu
not rated yet Feb 11, 2013
You could do this with real people who are doing this to you.

It's not easy for everyone. Also, it is quite obvious, considering the large amount of activities consisting in faking this activity on internet, that many people would be interested in using a more realistic simulation device.
NeutronicallyRepulsive
3.2 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2013
Oh, boy. That awkward moment when a first sentient robot asks: "My creator, why did you created me? And why do I have three boobs?"
grondilu
5 / 5 (1) Feb 11, 2013
"My creator, why did you created me? And why do I have three boobs?"

You were created solely for my entertainment, my dear. Now be quiet and get back to work.
qitana
not rated yet Feb 12, 2013
"My creator, why did you created me? And why do I have three boobs?"

You were created solely for my entertainment, my dear. Now be quiet and get back to work.


yes and it is interesting to note the dual relationship,
there is the 'degradation' of the robot as an actor for human entertainment
and there is the degradation of the human, because it is the human who is entertained by a degraded simulation of a human being, namely, the robot
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2013
It's not easy for everyone. Also, it is quite obvious, considering the large amount of activities consisting in faking this activity on internet, that many people would be interested in using a more realistic simulation device.
No I am saying you could augment reality using google glasses and making ugly people disappear. You could even translate their inanities into something which wouldnt elicit an automatic insult response. These would make life a little easier dont you think?
http://abcnews.go...16073175
machinephilosophy
1 / 5 (1) Feb 28, 2013
Degraded from what? That's like saying having reasons and criteria mean you're degrading yourself by depending on them to support the truth of your own claims, and treating reason and logic as degraded abstract objects for the mere purpose of human's thinking.

Robots exemplify a closer approximation to an ideal in some area, and/or a method for the same. That is why they were created, because they exceed human capabilities in various ways. The human approximates that ideal by instancing it in the robot. It's reciprocal and irrelevant to moralistic posturing.

In fact, one could equally claim that the allegation of degradation is ITSELF just an attempt to degrade others with differing viewpoints. Sheesh