Sony AI, dedicated to artificial intelligence and robotic technology, and avatarin, a company owned by ANA specialized in the same sector, sealed an agreement to jointly develop remotely controlled robots by combining the AI and robotics technology of Sony AI with avatarin’s avatar technology. These new generation robots will have a built-in tablet-sized screen mounted on the robot body, in which the person who operates them by remote control is seen.
“Avatars or remote-controlled robots enable many types of work and communication without the physical presence of humans,” explained the CEO of Sony AI Inc., Hiroaki Kitano, who assured that the goal of his company is to establish “a new social platform” for these robots and raise the level of social life.
In the context that people have to avoid contact due to COVID-19 pandemic, these robots would be very useful. The companies hope that robots will be used in many fields such as working remotely, taking care of patients at home, shopping or carry out other daily tasks.
“It is also expected that there will be an increasing demand for various remote robotic solutions that can perform physical tasks, especially in high-risk environments and situations where human contact and movement are restricted,” added Kitano, in a statement.
The development will also need to combine a wide range of technologies such as robotics, sensors, AI, user interaction, and high-speed communication networks.
Through this collaboration, Sony AI and avatarin will jointly investigate the development and deployment of next-generation avatar robots that are easy for anyone to use. Currently, one user can only operate one robot, but with a combination of avatarin and the Japanese electronics giant can help operate multiple robots at once.
Akira Fukabori, CEO of avatarin Inc., said, “This is a platform that will enable anyone to connect with remote, real-world avatar systems to transport their senses, consciousness, and skills to anywhere in the world. avatarin, together with Sony AI, aims to accelerate the development of versatile robotic avatars that can be deployed globally to create the world’s newest infrastructure that will allow all of us to share our skills and support one another like never before.”