Robots are doing more these days to assist humans in their daily lives. These metal creatures are assisting others by using their skills to improve an athlete’s performance and help a young woman with everyday tasks. The AeroTrainer, an unmanned aerial video biotelemetry system, came from a flight academy in New Jersey. The flying robot can show teams, trainers and coaches a complete view of physical activity as well as athletic performance. Moses Frenck, the CEO and president of Samexa Corporation, said that while the AeroTrainer is able to complete specific functions such as following specific plays, watching players on the field and running next to a track runner, it can also monitor body temperatures, heart rates and the intensity as well as the frequency of impacts, which can give coaches an accurate picture of the physical status of the coach’s players.
Frenck continues by saying that the robotics and aviation industries are changing at a rapid pace. Navigation systems, advanced flight control and autopilots that are normally found in aircrafts are being replicated in more advanced ways for unmanned ariel systems. He continues by saying that AeroTrainer will bring these technologies to trainers and athletes to help prevent injuries and enhance their performance. The robot actively participates in a team’s or athlete’s training. It can fly around and above athletes while using its software program and biomechanical sensors to record and send any combination of physiological signals as well as video. The system mixes a multi-axis camera with exclusive flight controls that can capture 360 degrees of video and run a 3D movement analysis. Robots can not only use their skills to assist humans in the athletic world, but also in everyday life.
Joanne O’Riordan, a 17-year-old female from Ireland, is closer to getting her own robot after it recently passed a United Nations inspection that was done by the International Telecommunication Union’s secretary general, Dr. Hamadoun Touré. Touré also provided funding for the robot, which was 50,000 euros. O’Riordan has total amelia, which means she was born without limbs. Last April, O’Riordan spoke at the International Telecommunication Union conference, the theme was Girls in Technology, where she brought up the challenge for someone to create a robot for her that can help her with regular tasks, specifically picking up items that she drops.
The robot, named Robbie the Robot, started his journey last summer, when a team of students from the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin began building the robot. Kevin Kelly, an associate professor at the school and leader of the team, said that the two topics, research about gripping technology and autonomous robots, students studied at Trinity was a good fit for what O’Riordan was looking for. He said he contacted the family and began talking about how he could help them.
The robot’s head is made of plastic printed from a 3D printer and has a 7-inch LCD screen that acts as his face. The team gave Robbie a human-like face so it was easier for both O’Riordan and others to interact with him. He is able to make different facial expressions such as happy, surprised and sad. Robbie’s body is made from carbon fiber, plastic and aluminum. It contains a rechargeable lithium polymer battery, regulators, high-torque motors, three computers, gearboxes, air compressors, communication hardware and sensors.
Robots are using their skills to assist humans in sports and daily activities. The AeroTrainer can monitor an athlete’s vital signs such as heart rate and body temperature. It can also watch certain plays in a football game and follow a track runner. The robot has an app connected to it called myAeroTrainer that allows coaches to watch and share plays. The application also lets athletes access videos to use for recruiting new players or creating highlight reels. Robbie the Robot was created to help O’Riordan with ordinary tasks such as picking up items. The team changed an idea from a group at Cornell University in New York that allows the robot to pick up things. The idea was to inflate a balloon filled with ground up coffee so it could mold to any shape. Once the balloon’s air is removed, the ground coffee secures the hand around the object and is released when the robot’s hand reaches a certain position.
By Jordan Bonte