Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from Kristina Grifantini

CES: Robot with an iPad for a Brain

Is there anything Apple’s tablet can’t do?

  • January 7, 2011

Yesterday, at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, iRobot presented its latest prototype—a mobile robot that uses a tablet computer for its brain.

There have been plenty of other telepresence robots, ranging from video screens on wheels to strange, blob-like prototypes. The new robot, called AVA (for avatar), is an interesting twist, combining telepresence with autonomous control. A user can either operate Ava remotely, for a video conference perhaps, or let the robot maneuver around on its own, carrying out tasks assigned to it through the tablet acting as its head.

AVA is equipped with microphones, speakers, and a host of sensors, including two PrimeSense motion sensors (the same ones used in the Xbox Kinect), as well as sonar and laser rangefinders for mapping. It builds a map of its surroundings and displays it on the iPad. A user can touch a spot on the map to tell the robot where to go.

AVA could open up robotic programming to a host of people, potentially leading to interesting new applications.

PC Mag’s Lance Ulanoff writes:

Angle explained that the inclusion of these mobile devices means that anyone who can program an iPad or Android app can now program a robot. Some more obvious uses include meeting telepresence, home and office security, material handling and grabbing you a beer from your refrigerator and bringing it back to you.

To see the robot in action, check out PCMag’s video interview below.

Keep up with the latest in robotics at EmTech MIT.
Discover where tech, business, and culture converge.

September 11-14, 2018
MIT Media Lab

Register now
More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.