Quirky Humanoid Robot Can Be Teleoperated Using a VR Headset
The inventors of Reachy, an open source humanoid robot from the French startup Pollen Robotics, have found a way to teleoperate robo-creation through virtual reality. This gives users the ability to control the robot to perform potentially complex tasks from anywhere in the world, provided they can put on a VR headset.
“Using a VR Device – [a] Headset and controller – one person can take full control of Reachy, ”Matthieu Lapeyre, CEO and co-founder of Pollen Robotics, told Digital Trends. “You see exactly what Reachy sees in 3D through its dual camera, and Reachy reproduces your head and hand movements. You can control the gripper with the triggers on the controllers and get haptic feedback from the vibrations of the controller. It’s really like you’re in the robot to get the job done. It works over the network. You can be either near or far from Reachy, as long as you have a proper internet connection it works the same way. “
The Reachy robot is available as either a standalone arm for $ 9,000 or a full half-body system for $ 17,000. It’s capable of performing a wide variety of tasks, from handwriting to gaming – and its developers call it the only open source humanoid robot platform on the market.
With its animated antennas and expressive eyes, plus its versatility, Reachy could potentially be a useful tool for a wide variety of uses. According to Lapeyre, it’s easy to train it to perform new tasks without spending hours writing the necessary code. It would certainly work well as a testing platform for startups or possibly as a learning tool for classrooms. The VR application looks really fun too and could be used for more serious applications too. Users may have the opportunity to try it out soon – even if they haven’t been looking for a reachy robot.
“[This] was originally designed to only be accessible to people with a Reachy platform, but we have been overwhelmed by requests from the VR community [have a go,]Lapeyre continued. “We are now trying to find out how we can offer people with VR the opportunity to play with our Reachy, to set up a fun playground and [maybe even] stream it on Twitch. “