Robotics Evolution

April 9, 2008
In our quest to give our readers more choice and an ever increasing variety of content — by going deeper into the technologies we currently cover as well as expanding the base of technologies we cover — I found myself in Pittsburgh today, attending the RoboBusiness Conference & Expo.
One of the first companies I came across in the exhibit hall, was Evolution Robotics.
Evolution Robotics develops enabling technologies for the robotics market, and partners with OEMs to integrate those technologies into new and more intelligent products such as autonomous robots for commercial or consumer use.
Evolution’s NorthStar technology is an indoor localization solution that combines a sensor, a processor and an infrared projector to provide accurate location information in real-time.
According to the company literature:
With NorthStar, consumer products can:
NorthStar is perhaps most famously deployed in WowWee's telepresence robot, Rovio, which made its debut at this past January’s CES event.
So let me get this straight. Telepresence meets robotics?
I’m definitely interested.
But first, back to Evolution.
The company’s NorthStar technology enables developers, like WowWee to create consumer oriented products like Rovio. Rovio, is pretty cool and I had a firsthand look at the ‘bot today at RoboBusiness.
Rovio allows you to keep an eye on things at home while you are away. The solution, which is equipped with an onboard camera, allows users to drive the robot via the Web or by sending commands from a mobile phone.
Featuring full audio and video streaming capability Rovio uses industry standard 802.11b/g protocols for true WiFi access.
Evolution Robotics is deeply involved in computer vision technology and offers the ViPR solution (for Visual Pattern Recognition) to developers to create such applications as Interfaces to the Internet on mobile devices (PDAs, cell phones…); visual search engines; navigation systems for robots, and security systems for a variety of locations (shopping malls, train stations, etc…)
My experience at the RoboBusiness event underscored the importance of technologies that I’m familiar with from the Internet Telephony side of the house, such as WiFi and related wireless technologies as well as telepresence, conferencing, VoIP, and more, and how they each play a role in the evolving robotics space.

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