CSAIL team pairs robots with VR for smart manufacturing

Malek Murison for Internet of Business:  Remotely operated robots are not new in manufacturing. But they tend to be highly specialized and, as a result, expensive to deploy and maintain. By combining Rene Descartes’ ‘homunculus’ notion of mind with off-the-shelf virtual reality equipment, researchers at CSAIL are hoping to navigate the barriers to widespread adoption across the manufacturing industry.

Virtual control room

In practice, this means that instead of operating machinery from a purely first-person perspective, the user is placed in a virtual control room. That position is ostensibly mounted inside the robot’s head, where a number of displays show the input from different cameras and the joystick controllers.

The result is a simplified, easy-to-use VR system that uses 2D images to provide the sensory information required to control the robot. Instead of relying on a powerful (and expensive) computer system to build an immersive (and often overwhelming) 3D space, the brain infers depth for itself and the user has a less daunting experience.  Full Article:

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