This VR-controlled humanoid robot could change everything
8:04

This VR-controlled humanoid robot could change everything

Science
Speaker 1: This is the Omni robot by beyond imagination. And this is the first time it's been in public. The company says this will be one of the most sophisticated general purpose humanoid robots on the planet. That's a pretty big claim with me is Dr. Harry Clore, founder and CEO of beyond imagination. Can you tell us about the BI Omni robot? Speaker 2: Sure. Delighted to. So BI is a general purpose humanoid robot. It's [00:00:30] piloted by a human with an AI brain that learns over time has a vision system that's nearly, uh, real time. Uh, it is completely articulate with human, like hands and arms and head. So it can do a wide range of tasks, whether it's picking up a drill or any other instrument and using it or doing fine motor control, like picking up a pinch of salt or, or great dexterity, like grabbing a bottle opener and opening an actual Coke bottle and pouring it, whatever it is [00:01:00] that you wish it to do within the limits of its dexterity. And it's it's it's, uh, movements it can do. Speaker 1: Now you have human operators working through Omni for some of these tasks. How difficult is it to take those VR inputs and translate those into fine hand movements to your robot? It's Speaker 2: Very complex. Fortunately, I have a bunch of genius programmers on my team. So like, if you were here, I would just give you a pair of gloves, put on a VR headset. Uh, and have you operated or actually I could send those to [00:01:30] you if we weren't in the convention center. Cause the wifi here is terrible. Uh, and then you could operate it from there or you could fly to Tokyo and operate it from there. So one of the keys things is to be able to operate it from anywhere on the planet. Uh, um, and so we've already tested over long distances. So you're seeing stereo vision right by left eye. Uh, and we have a series of cameras. We have a camera in the chest and in the back for surrounds. So should you wish to have surround vision? You can. Um, but when you're doing a task, [00:02:00] that's, that's useful when you're driving. Speaker 2: So when you look around, you can see anywhere and you can look up and see behind you. Uh, and normal view is stereo vision, just like your eyes. And it's limited to, of course, the headset that you're using, um, and we are agnostic to, uh, VR headsets and then you control through through gloves so that you can natural control the robot. You can also heat like human hears and speak to the robot. One of my uses would immediately be once I have [00:02:30] multiple, uh, robots, it's the first one, I'll stick one at my mom's house. She's 92. Uh, she has three caretakers to help take care of her. I'm a thousand miles from her. I would be able to pop in, make her meals in the morning, be able to go in the garden with her, a games, help her get her pills. And so with my other family members. So one of the first uses of this in terms of, uh, the general public is be able to solve the elderly crisis. Now Speaker 1: You've done some real world tests at an elderly care facility. That's correct. Right. So could you tell us how that [00:03:00] went and, and what you learned from it? Speaker 2: Yes. So we've done our first of many pilots that are coming out, uh, this year and that pilot study was at true pace, uh, in Colorado. And there we had doctors and nurses and even administrators test and see how well they could operate the robot. There were immediately sold on it, a hundred percent sort of positive reaction. Speaker 1: And you've also got some high hopes for Omni in the future. Like if I read this right work in space, right? Speaker 2: Yeah. So we are partnered today with [00:03:30] zero G. Uh, and so we're at the zero G booth. So zero G and beyond imagination, we're gonna be in the future, putting in, beyond on their zero G fly, where they do experiments. So that'll enable if you're an operator and you don't wanna be up on the plane or say, they need to do a hundred parabolas, you could do that from the safety of the ground and operate it myself. I would always go in the plane cause it's fun. But, uh, I, you could do that. We are working with intuitive machines and I can't say anything, uh, officially now, but [00:04:00] we will be sticking something up on the moon, a part of the robot, uh, very soon. Speaker 1: That sounds wild. Now on, on your site, you have an equation on your site that reads humans, plus Omni platform, VR plus Omni plus ever evolving AI brain. Your plan is to take Omni from a human operated machine to an autonomous one. How long have you been testing this and how is that worked out? Speaker 2: So, uh, I would say we're, we're at the very start of this. So we know we know how to do it, and we know all the components and we're starting [00:04:30] to test it, but to the, the robot was really finished this year. Uh, and so, uh, we have it running at, at the booth doing some very simple things by itself. Uh, but, uh, as we bring it out to the commercial market, just like Tesla. So think of it as an electronic vehicle, but not one that you physically climb into, but one that you virtually climb into. So like a Tesla it's first operated by a human, but over time, uh, that data goes up to the cloud and the same way our data will go up [00:05:00] to the cloud and the AI brain. So it can learn these tasks. Speaker 1: Now why the fascination with a humanoid robot, it seems like you didn't necessarily need to have a head on this thing. They have two arms, you could have pinchers if you wanted. Uh, do you find that people are more receptive to humanoid robot or are they slightly afraid of a humanoid robot? Speaker 2: So it turns out that while you might think the things you just said are correct, they're actually not. The entire world is built for humans and we've tested over 20, 30 years. That for instance, having real hands [00:05:30] enables me to do everything from pick up a pinch of salt, to getting a drill and drilling a hole to, uh, any task that I would need to do. Um, if I had pinchers, I'm very limited, this is a reason we evolve to have thumbs. So our robot has very articulate thumbs. Uh, your number of tasks you could do would be highly limited. Uh, the, uh, the same thing for a head when you do a task, you look around naturally and, and you pick up objects and do them. The point of our robot is to be general purpose. [00:06:00] So the closer we build it to a human, the more things it'll be able to do, and the better it'll be able to learn them because you are teaching it as a human. Speaker 1: Now that the robot that you have at CES right now is on wheels. Do you have a Bial robot coming as well? Speaker 2: No. We decide to go in a different direction. Um, uh, I know the guys of Boston dynamic in Honda and Toyota, and they've, they've made all these leg things, but unfortunately over 20, 30 years or many billions of dollars, I've yet to see them even do one task, one pilot, study [00:06:30] one, anything. And so they're fantastic for showing leg look emotion, however, you and I are sitting down almost every job that you do, you're either standing up or you're sitting down or you, you could wheel across the floor just as easily as walk across the floor. So we focused on the ability to do tasks, commercial tasks, human tasks, versus, uh, doing things with likes. Speaker 1: That's a great answer. I, I wanted to ask, uh, you were talking about availability and this is coming to a market. What is your timing for these robots to be available? [00:07:00] And do you have any customers lined up already? Speaker 2: So I, I can't reveal who and what, but we're, we're taking advanced orders. Um, and the, uh, we may do some singular roll that rollouts at the end of the, this year or at the beginning of next. And I anticipate once we figure out all the advanced orders rolling out sometime, uh, 20, uh, three, um, and, uh, and then scaling up from there, Speaker 1: [00:07:30] What is the Omni cost? Speaker 2: So right now, as you can imagine, it's like building a, a, the first Tesla. So these swans will roll out around 150 to 200 K and then over time as we scale up again, like a Tesla, uh, the price will, uh, drop down so that it's gonna be 90 then 80 then 60. So, uh, that's, that's the plan, Speaker 1: Dr. Harry core off beyond imagination. Thank you very much for more check out all the videos on our YouTube channel, [00:08:00] as well as cnet.com am to you online.

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