As the pandemic continues on, the measures due to this health crisis continue to be stringent. As working from home continues to be promoted and solicited by many companies, Softbank Robotics’ 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. It also includes the function of teleoperation, which enables users to operate the robot remotely. As seen in the video, 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 secure 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 tele-visits 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.
Pepper’s new “Telepresence” application is now available on GitHub. If you want to learn how our team can help you with updating Pepper or setting up a demo to rent or buy, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org