iRobot AVA

« Previous Next »
iRobot meeting room at CES 2012

iRobot, the most known robot maker had a rather humble presence at CES this year. Instead taking out a large exhibition area, they only rented a few meeting rooms at the end of the South Hall. After introducing the new Roomba and Scooba robots last year they are busy distributing these new products on the market. Product life span on the robot cleaner market is much longer than what we see on the TV or digital camera market.

When I arrived to the iRobot meeting area started off with iRobot AVA, that was first shown to the public exactly one year ago here at CES. It is a telepresence robot prototype that demonstrates many of the core technologies that iRobot has access to. The robot uses a simultaneous localization and mapping technique to autonomously build a map of its environment and navigate within that map. The number and type of sensors are overwhelming, but they are there to provide enough information for the robot to navigate pretty securely in environments that were not designed for robots.

iRobot AVA has a triangular base with push in collision detectors. These are the most basic types of sensors on the robot, but they are rarely used because the robot is normally aware of the obstacles crossing its way. Probably the most important piece of device in this discovery is the 2D laser scanner on the front of the base. It can measure distances from the robot to walls, furniture or people, as long as they are standing on the floor and are at least 20 cm tall. For furnitures like table tops that usually block the robot only at a certain height, AVA is using 10 sonar sensors on the base pointing to the ceiling. The height of the robot is adjustable by the length of the middle column. The round shaped head module holds the speakers and ring like buttons that go three-quarters around the disc (actually the one on the side goes all around). If the one on the top is pushed anywhere, the robot will lower itself, if the one on the bottom is pressed the head module will raise. If the ring on the side is pushed the robot will turn its head to that direction, if pressed long, the robot will go away (like if it was pushed). The top of the rotating head is not only an iPad holder but a Kinect like 3D camera that can provide additional information for navigation and obstacle detection.

After a map is available for the robot it can be sent from one place to another within that map and the localization algorithm will find the best route to the selected destination without bumping into any of the known obstacles. If the map changes a bit (e.g. chairs are moved), AVA will find its way around, but larger changes in the environment can still confuse the algorithm. Unlike cleaning robots with mapping functionality, AVA keeps the maps even when turned off, so when turned on in another spot in that known environment, it will be able to figure it's position out and how to get back to any of the known spots. The applications, the mapping and all the operations have been fine tuned since last year.

AVA is only a prototype now, so it has no price or availability yet, but iRobot is working on commercializing it or parts of its technologies. A good example of use can be at retail stores where the robot could greet customers at the entrance, could provide information about item locations, and could even take the customers right to the searched products.

iRobot AVA
iRobot AVA
iRobot AVA
iRobot AVA
iRobot AVA
iRobot AVA laser scanner
iRobot AVA - ultrasonic sensors
iRobot AVA controlled by an iPad
iRobot AVA - Kinect like eyes
iRobot AVA

Add new comment

News Archive

  • 2018:
    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Apr
    • May
  • 2017:
    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Apr
    • May
    • Jun
    • Jul
    • Aug
    • Sep
    • Oct
    • Nov
    • Dec
  • 2016:
    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Apr
    • May
    • Jun
    • Jul
    • Aug
    • Sep
    • Oct
    • Nov
    • Dec
  • 2015:
    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Apr
    • May
    • Jun
    • Jul
    • Aug
    • Sep
    • Oct
    • Nov
    • Dec
  • 2014:
    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Apr
    • May
    • Jun
    • Jul
    • Aug
    • Sep
    • Oct
    • Nov
    • Dec
  • 2013:
  • 2012:
  • 2011:
  • 2010:
  • 2009:
  • 2008:
  • 2007:
    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Apr
    • May
    • Jun
    • Jul
    • Aug
    • Sep
    • Oct
    • Nov
    • Dec
  • 2006:
    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Apr
    • May
    • Jun
    • Jul
    • Aug
    • Sep
    • Oct
    • Nov
    • Dec
  • 2005:
    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Apr
    • May
    • Jun
    • Jul
    • Aug
    • Sep
    • Oct
    • Nov
    • Dec
  • 2004:
    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Apr
    • May
    • Jun
    • Jul
    • Aug
    • Sep
    • Oct
    • Nov
    • Dec
  • 2003:
    • Jan
    • Feb
    • Mar
    • Apr
    • May
    • Jun
    • Jul
    • Aug
    • Sep
    • Oct
    • Nov
    • Dec
Subscribe to RobotBG.com