Scientists have developed a new little wearable robot that runs through your clothes in its dedicated track and does many stuffs including measuring your heart-beat and more.
Researchers have been exploiting technology and robotics, churning out several innovative robots for assisting, and performing tasks that’s risky or strenuous for humans. Starting from robots for huge tasks such as swarm-robots for construction, dog robot for surveillance to the ones that accompanies you or assists humans on different purposes, such as ‘Emo’ robot and this ‘calico’ robot, the path of robotics has been profound in the past decade.
Researchers at Small Artifacts Lab (SMART Lab) at University of Maryland have been working on a small wearable robot called Calico. So, what it does?
Calico – Wearable Robot
Calico robot aims to be your cute little pet-friend that runs through your body for carrying out its assigned tasks or simply as fashion. The robot attaches to a special track sewn on top of your clothing and is ready for work by traversing your garments. Calico runs on this track and can act as a stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs or can coach you through a fitness class.
The track embeds neodymium magnets into it at even intervals for precise location of the robot. With onboard sensors, Calico can detect these magnets and effectively plan a path across your body.
Weighing just 18 grams, Calico can carry a 20-gram payload and can speed up between 115 mm/s and 227 mm/s. Calico is powered by 100 milliampere-hour battery that lasts more than 8 hours in an idle state or 30 minutes with continuous movement. It is designed for more applications apart from listening your heart.
Applications of Calico robot
The core usage of Calico is in the medical field, to sense vital signs in the body. The robot could travel to a predefined location to listen to your organs, or a doctor could teleoperate it in real time, says its paper.
The robot could provide haptic feedback on your workouts, and be your motivator to perform exercises and also as a progress monitor. Though it doesn’t have a screen, it can show your progress on specific tasks, for example, by turning your arm into a physical progress bar. As you get closer to hitting your daily goals, the device will move further up your arm.
Calico indeed serves as a tool to be equipped with many applications as required. Say, you can add sound, LEDs or even displays on it, that might be a vogue for people. Also, with addition of some fur and googly eyes, having a fluffy friend wandering around you at all times would get you some reactions.
It’s still in the developmental phase and not sure of the arrival date. The paper was published in ACM Digital library.
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