Visit A Remote Location Via The Internet With The Robot ‘Beaming’ Technology (+VIDEO)
Beaming is an international project funded by the European Commission to learn how a person can visit a remote location via the internet and feel fully immersed in the new environment. The visitor may be embodied as an avatar or a robot, interacting with real people. This telepresence concept records a remote user’s interactions in one locations and reflects those inputs on a humanoind robot that can be located even in the other part of the world. The Beaming Project utilizes visual reality and haptic interfaces to have their actual appearance projected onto the suface of the machine. The robot integrates full sensory data and feedback mechanisms for a user to receive input from the remote environment. Project leader Mel Slater, professor of virtual environments at University College London (UCL), claims, that unlike the virtual worlds of computer games, in beaming the robot or avatar interacts with real people in a real place. The range of its application is rather wide: beaming sessions could help raise morale by giving soldiers based overseas a sense of being back home with their family; a virtual doctor could visit a patient at home, if that patient is unable to travel to the surgery. On the other hand the use of lifelike avatars would also throw open the possibility of deception and new types of crime, among other things it might increase the risk of sexual harassment or even virtual rape.
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