E-One is a remote monitoring robot developed by EOS Innovation, a French company founded in March 2010. The company says the robot is still only experimental, but is intended to patrol on its own and alert its owner if it detects anything unusual. The robot may also serve the elderly and disabled in the future, and could function as a telepresence robot. Although it looks somewhat similar to NEC’s PaPeRo, its face displays video.
At 60cm (2′) tall, the E-One is relatively small compared to similar robots, but has a low weight (8-10kg [22 lbs]) and a decent battery life of four hours. It comes equipped with two high-resolution cameras (one of which has a fish-eye lens) as well as a mobile (pico) projector. It has two speakers and two omnidirectional microphones, and can communicate over Wi-Fi and USB. For obstacle detection, the robot uses eight ultrasonic sensors and four infrared sensors.
“Right now the biggest weakness in robotics is battery life. The batteries have to last for several hours, so our robots must use energy efficiently. Speech and visual recognition are also two domains where there’s a lot of work to be done. In my opinion, we’re heading towards specialized robots that can communicate with one another to make things easier. Whether it’s a robot vacuum cleaner, lawnmower, or butler, they’ll be able to take orders and divide up the work. But a machine that can replace a person, that’s not for right now. I think we should make simple robots that are optimized for specific tasks.”
– David Lemaitre, Director & Founder, EOS Innovation
The company has also developed a smaller, semi-autonomous surveillance robot called E-Vigilant. The idea is to have the robot patrol on its own, but if it detects something suspicious a human operator would take over. Due to its low profile the robot could follow an intruder undetected. The E-Vigilant is due to be commercialized in 2012. A few more photos follow after the break.