Geckosystems released a statement announcing their recent development of the eckoImager which incorporates technology from Microsoft’s Kinect sensor. Gecko systems specialize in hardware and software inventions for the mass consumer marketplace aimed at usage in homes for safety and social purposes. Its current invention is the CareBot and GeckoNav, GeckoChat and GeckoTrak. These products are designed for the care of the elderly, the ill and children.
They are in discussions with various representatives from Microsoft. Gecksystes claims its sources its motivation from Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates’ article “A Robot in every home”.
Gecko aims to bring revolution in the robotics industry by incorporating elements from mobile robotics to develop Mobile Robot solutions for Safety, Security and service.
Microsoft has to its credit a mobile robot software development environment named as Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008 R3. It is a Windows based application for the ease of developers in creating robotic applications across a range of hardware. The carebot is a robotic device with an aluminum frame surrounded by a plastic shell, two wheels which run independently, sensors microprocessors and on board computing device. It is primarily built around 5 platforms the GeckoSuper, GeckoNav, GeckoChat, GeckoScheduler and GeckoTrak. GeckoNav is responsible for maneuvering the device around obstacles and taking care of the motion of the robot, GeckoChat is responsible for interaction with the subject and answering to verbal commands, GeckoTrack using the Kinect technology through its sensors maintains close proximity to the subject.
Microsoft’s had recently stated sale of over 8 million Kinect sensors within 60 days of its launch. The GeckoImager uses sensor fusion interpolates structured light machine vision data provided by the Kinect sensor with sonar range finding data and all this added to the Geckos solid state compass, accelerometer and odometry sensor fusion provides enough data to provide the robot with a situational awareness to make it avoid collisions unaided utilizing its own resources in every conceivable environment setting. Also using the sensors from kinect would be cheaper than the current industry standard of laser range finding systems. It not only is cheaper but an excellent option providing dearth of data required for navigation at a lower cost to money and power stated Kevin O’Connor, Sr. EE Roboticist, Research and Development, GeckoSystems.
These service robots can find multiple utilizations from the home environment to the hospital environment. Can provide care of the elderly and the physically challenged can be used for monitoring the sick and many other uses.
Gecko systems state that the breach usage of Microsoft’s economic Kinect range finding sensor system would allow some approaching business-to-business niche retrofit markets for them. They said they would continue to expect technology-licensing revenues to precede revenues from product manufacturing and sales and have two to three prospective licensees in active discussions. This augurs well for increased ROI and shareholder value for their nearly 1400 investors.