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Mine’s a pint please ROB

Written by

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

A British firm has launched "ROB," a virtual reality-controlled 'robotically optimised bartender.'

Reading based Extend Robotics, a UK-based innovator in general-purpose teleoperated robotics, has successfully trialled ROB which, said a company, features a remarkable human-like dexterity and is fully capable of 'virtually' pulling a real pint!

The Extend Robotics' Robot Toolkit features real-time, immersive and intuitive control using the latest VR technologies. It gives a highly realistic human-like dexterity and reachability to six degrees of freedom (DoF). The teleoperated robotic arm is easily operated remotely by a human operator.

Dr Chang Liu, founder and CEO of Extend Robotics and Research Associate at Imperial College London, said: "At Extend Robotics, our vision is to extend human capability beyond physical presence. Our mission is to democratise dexterous teleoperation at scale over the next three years, designing cost-effective robotic arms capable of remote operation from anywhere in the world, using cloud-based teleoperation software. What's more, we have seen a significant acceleration in the demand for service robots in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic has given an unexpected boost to the market."

Extend Robotics' is currently developing its Robot Toolkit for widespread commercial use, offering the hospitality and service industries a simple, easy-to-use, plug-and-play solution that is both low-cost and highly dexterous.

The backdrop is that the worldwide sales of service robotics exceeded $17bn in 2019 and is forecast to top $55 billion by 2023, according to the International Federation of Robotics.

Dr Liu added: "Right now, as we approach the end of the COVID-19 crisis, we expect to see remote working as 'the new norm' across many industries, for numerous health, safety and environmental reasons. 

"2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for humanity, yet our hope at Extend Robotics is that the recent acceleration in R&D of remote teleoperated working robots will soon result in a wide range of safe, secure and affordable dexterity robot solutions across a number of industries worldwide."