Sony AI Inc. and avatarin Inc. of ANA Group have reached a basic agreement to co-develop remote control robots by combining the AI and robotics technology of Sony AI with avatarin's avatar (remote control robot) technology.
Avatar robots are expected to play a central role in situations where autonomous robots cannot be safely and cost effectively deployed. Along with telepresence technology, remote control robots are expected to be used in various situations of everyday life, for example, in offices, stores, and homes.
Sony AI and avatarin will bring together their respective expertise, including Sony AI's machine learning and robotics technology and Sony Group's sensing and actuator device technology, and avatarin's remote-controlled robot technology, platform, and numerous use-case test results. Through this collaboration, Sony AI and avatarin will investigate the development and deployment of next-generation avatar robots that are easy for anyone to use.
"Avatars or remote-controlled robots enable many types of work and communication without the physical presence of humans. For the full scale deployment of avatars, we need to combine a wide range of technologies such as robotics, sensors, AI, user interaction, and high-speed communication networks, in addition to the fleet management and service management knowhow to operate avatar fleets consistently and reliably. 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. Through collaboration with avatarin, Sony AI aims to establish a new social foundation for avatars and raise the level of social life."
A spin-out of ANA Holdings Inc., avatarin is focused on developing a mobility and human augmentation platform that will enable people to "instantaneously transport their consciousness, skills and presence to remote locations using robotic avatar systems." They launched the world's first avatar platform "avatarin" that can be used to search, reserve, and connect to avatars deployed around the world from their dedicated application.
Sony markets an AI-powered Aibo robot dog equipped with cameras and a range of sensors that enables its owner to remotely monitor children and the elderly at home.