The Japanese Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Keio University’s Tachi Lab presented their newest telexistence system, the TELESAR V, at SIGGRAPH 2012 Emerging Technologies. The avatar system’s ability to relay tactile sensation has improved since its original reveal in November 2011. In a world first, a human operator can now distinguish if the robot is handling cloth or paper by touch alone.
Of course, the operator gets much more than just tactile feedback as part of the experience, as a head-mounted display provides a high-definition wide-angle view from the robot’s perspective, along with stereo sound. The robot avatar’s body has a total of 54 degrees of freedom (head x3, trunk x5, two arms x7, two hands (and fingers) x16) which allow it to accurately mimic the operator’s movements (using a motion-capture system).