When you see those big bomb disarming robots, you probably imagine that they’re being operated by a NASA size computer. Well, it turns out that at least some of the military bots in operation are ran from tablets.
iRobot Packbots are already deployed around the world, in military operations and police incident investigations. These are bots that cost over $100,000 and they can be controlled via slate. iRobot’s uPoint Multi Robot Control system puts all the controls on a singular Android tablet interface. I don’t even want to imagine if this slate connects to all bots or to drones and someone hacks it…
Initially, each iRobot security and defense robot had a hardware control system, with a physical joystick and small screen, basically a remote control. It also had buttons for arm, grabber and sensors. uPoint MRC creates an unified radio network, with WiFi and 4G in play and brings the controls to the touchscreen. There’s even a free Android app available to make this work.
The UI includes a real time 3D robot avatar and there’s a demo video below.