At 9th Sense, our goal is simple: we aim to build reliable, inexpensive, high quality telepresence robots that are usable by anyone.
Our hardware and software are open source, which allows users to customize their bots to their own needs. This platform sets the stage for our long-term vision, which is to extend the senses of telepresence users beyond natural human perception. By choosing custom sensor sets and having the ability to develop their own apps for the bot, users will be able to achieve a tailored and enhanced sense of the remote environment. Starting with zoom lenses and simple sensors (e.g. infrared, touch, sonic, etc), we will work toward providing an immersive experience with multispectral views.
In the future, our aim is to provide robots that possess the ability to utilize and modify their surroundings in order to complete physical tasks and convey information. For example, a robot could project images onto objects to demonstrate step-by-step procedures while the remote user provides the accompanying instructions. An optional robotic manipulator can be used to physically move and arrange objects, allowing the remote operator to display how a task is done.
We are developing on open source software frameworks, specifically ROS (Robot Operating System, by Willow Garage) and Linux (Ubuntu). Sensors we will employ include the following: Directional hearing, omni-directional sight, RFID sensing, 3D sensors (initially Kinect), touch sensors (including sensors designed for touch-based movement leading), motion sensing, infrared, odor perception, and proprioception linked to haptic interfaces.
Target user communities include schools of all levels, training centers, museums, professional training including flight crews, and people with mobility and/or cognitive impairment.