Gitex 2021: This robot can see, hear, feel like a human

Imagine having an assistant at home or at your workplace that will listen, perceive and process your command 200 times faster than any human? Or how about a robot that will mop your floor, load your washing machine – or even play and talk with you when you get the blues?

German firm Neura Robotics is displaying a range of such robots at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (Gitex) in Dubai, with cognitive abilities that enables them to think (like a human), as well as hear, see and feel.

The company also hopes to deliver a domestic autonomous robot for household chores, which can also double up as a companion to play and talk with.

Speaking about their one-of-a-kind robot line up — that will be displayed for the first time in the UAE and be released early next year, David Reger, CEO of Neura Robotics, told Khaleej Times: “Our motto is ‘we serve humanity’, therefore we have developed robots that will never hurt humans. The 360-degree sensors attached to them help them know the difference between humans and objects. While usually robots do not have a system to know if it is interacting with a human or an object, this is the first one in the world to learn the difference.”

Reger said the home assistant robot will be available in the market from February 2022. “By early next year, you can get your AI-backed home assistant robot with cognitive abilities of a human, capable of feeling, hearing and seeing and with an AI-enabled mind that can understand and predict things. You can order it or feed it with information so it acts autonomously without you having to even say anything. For example, you can command it or feed it with information for doing all types of tasks you would want a helper to do in the house, such as pick up objects, tidy up the house, load the dishwasher or washing machine, mop, dust and clean surfaces, something no other robot has done before.”

Our purpose is to show that robots are a multi-purpose tool which can have eyes, ears and also a language, he added.

Reger added that the home assistant robot will be agile, affordable and easy to move as it will weigh not more than 16kg. “The robot has a platform that will move on rollers, a 890 millimetre robotic arm that can lift objects weighing 6kg. The robot also has voice recognition technology which can translate voice into a colour and then use colour recognition to recognise different voices, thanks to AI. This helps it to follow your voice and orders, while filtering out other sounds, even if they are very loud.”

Pointing out to other bigger robots used in industrial applications, Reger said the same technology is used with different settings in numerous locations, starting from the workplace to stores and healthcare centres.

“From breast cancer screening, to giving a massage, kitchen automations, automotive welding, laboratory automation, helping in manufacturing industry, logistics industry, dentistry and even in surgeries, our robots are basically ‘cobots’, which means they work with humans and help them complete a task quicker, without much human effort, with high precision and give error free outcomes.”

Talking about a a ‘cobot’ called Maira, Reger said: “These multi-sensing intelligent robots are already being used in stores where they assist in fetching things and serve customers who can order through their voice or even by pointing at something they want. Maira will interact with you like a human and it will ask you and confirm with you what you asked for. The robust and rigid design combines the performance of a high-end machine with easy programming and infinite possibilities for interaction – both for beginners and experts.”

Saman Haziq

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