About the EDGAR robots
The EDGAR series of robots are social robots designed and built entirely at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. They've brought their wit and charm to numerous activities and events to wow audiences. Unlike the NAO robots, EDGARs are powered by Microsoft Windows and so can easily be integrated to your smart systems! If you're looking to add some robot flair to your events or if you are looking for cutting edge robots to impress visitors to your business, then the EDGAR robots could be what you are looking for!
New improvements are constantly added to the EDGAR robots. If you have any questions about them, please email me at email@example.com. For more tidbits about the latest developments in my work, please visit my blog !
EDGAR Version 1
EDGAR-1 is a robotic avatar. He and his user can be separated by miles or even oceans!
EDGAR-1 displays sounds (speech), video imagery (video of the user's face), but most importantly, he displays the user's physical presence. For this, his user would position himself in front of a computer with an attached Kinect sensor from Microsoft. The sensor would capture data about the user's movements, facial features and speech for communication over the Internet. EDGAR-1 receives this information and attempts to mimic what the user does and says.
To facilitate the communication of physical presence, EDGAR-1 has to be dexterous. He can mimic his user's movements from the waist upwards. EDGAR-1's waist can twist, bow and lean. Each arm has 5 degrees of freedom (DOFs). In addition, the five fingers on each of EDGAR-1's hands are capable of independent movement. This means that EDGAR-1's hands can generate a large variety of hand signs and gestures. EDGAR-1's neck has 3 DOFs, allowing him to turn and face the people with whom he is interacting.
EDGAR-1's Rear-Projection Head
To further mimic his user, EDGAR-1 has one more trick up his sleeve. He can also copy his user's facial features and expressions! This is because EDGAR-1's head is a rear-projection system such that images can be displayed on EDGAR-1's face. This means that a person's facial features and expressions can be displayed on the robot, making EDGAR-1 suited for portraying any person.
EDGAR Version 2
The second version of EDGAR (EDGAR-2) is based very much on the design of the original EDGAR-1 robot. He is not a robotic avatar but is meant primarily to serve as a humanoid for autonomous interaction, engaging people at public spaces to promote products, give directions, describe a museum artefact, or simply to greet and impress! He is perhaps a real-world C-3PO!
An integrated Kinect sensor from Microsoft lets EDGAR-2 see and hear people. Through this, he listens to queries and searches his own database as well as the Internet for an appropriate response.
If you see an EDGAR-2, say hello and listen to what he has to say!
- Present product or company information at trade shows.
- Telepresence robot for business communication.
- Receptionist at front desk.
- Guide at museum, theme park or shopping mall to engage visitors and shoppers.
- If you are a retailer, EDGAR-2 can tell people about your products or in-store promotions.
- Human-robot interaction research platform.
- Posing interaction scenarios to prepare techers, soldiers or professionals in service industry.
- Conduct lessons in place of human trainers.
Why is EDGAR preferred?
Most life-sized social robots are powered with air compressors which can be cumbersome and loud.
EDGAR robots are powered only with electrical power and much more easily deployed.
Friendly and familiar appearance
The EDGAR robots' physical appearance accurately represents current technology in robotics and thus conforms to our present expectations for friendly robots. So while the EDGARs look unmistakably robotic, they do not look eerily human-like. Their aesthetic design draws people (especially children) to want to interact with them.
EDGAR-1's head is a screen that is capable of displaying any person's facial features and expressions.
He can be used to portray a famous person or a lovable animated character.
Uses common robotics hardware
The EDGAR robots make good research platforms as many roboticists would be familiar with the hardware. EDGAR uses the highly popular Arduino microprocessor as well as the very versatile and powerful Dynamixel motors from Robotis.
In addition, EDGAR-2 uses the Microsoft Kinect sensor that many researchers are using for developmental work in human-robot interaction.