Feature Update: Telepresence Enabled by Pepper
Our humanoid robot Pepper is now equipped with a new feature: telepresence. This solution allows users to enjoy an immersive audio and video interaction experience at ease despite being physically apart.
The Telepresence feature is designed to facilitate smooth communication between people. Moreover, it also includes the function of teleoperation, which enables users to operate the robot remotely. As seen in the video above, using a simple browser-based interface, users can make Pepper take commands of 45 degree turns, 90 degree turns, or drive Pepper around in an open space to serve interaction purposes.
Two important updates have taken teleoperation to a higher level: obstacle detection that allows Pepper to detect and avoid obstacles on its route for safe movements without human supervision on-site; and encryption of video and audio, which ensures that the content of the interaction is well secured and the identity of the caller is authenticated. These updates will unlock a wide range of use cases empowered by telepresence: Pepper can now serve in a company reception area, facilitating the communication between visitors and employees.
In hospitals, retirement homes, and other types of healthcare facilities, Pepper can put patients and seniors in contact with their family and friends, increasing the frequency of televisits and reducing the sense of isolation. Seniors and patients can also conduct teleconsultation with medical staff with less risk during the pandemic, keeping track of their health condition. Since Pepper’s head camera can be moved separately, it can be deployed in warehouses, factories, and offices to monitor exactly where the person in charge needs to see, with nothing more than a click. Users can simply use the mouse to adjust Pepper’s field of view.
The new telepresence feature packed with remote control is aiming for a bigger picture. From today onwards, Pepper can shine on events with a remotely-controlled customized speech, or connect multiple people through one unit simultaneously. Furthermore, it can also be deployed for tele-mapping a whole area, which is a strong complement to our recently upgraded navigation feature.
To make all these happen, our development team has created a comprehensive toolkit for Pepper telepresence and remote control. According to our Senior Software Engineer Emile Kroeger, the potential is enormous, since “each company can combine the components together and build something corresponding to its use cases.” Telepresence solution by pepper was built on Firebase and Twilio components and has been published on GitHub for all Developers.
Do you want to know how telepresence can bring added value to your organization? Are you interested in adding telepresence to your solution belt?
Contact us for more information and insights on how telepresence enabled by Pepper can work for you!