PITCHING ROBOTS WITH THE LOOK, IT IS A REALITY

01/05/2017

ABB and Irisbond today introduced the first practical demonstration of their joint development to control robots using eye-tracking technology, the result of collaboration under the BIND 4.0 program 

  

ABB and Irisbond today presented the first practical demonstration of their joint development to control robots through the look. This development comes from the collaboration of both companies under the umbrella of BIND 4.0, the program launched in 2016 by the Basque Government to promote collaboration in innovation projects between start-ups and tractor companies with a strong presence in Euskadi. 

  

The demonstration consisted of a unique game of chess in which a person with a significant degree of physical disability was able to play naturally against his opponent by moving the pieces on the board through ABB's YuMi robot, which he controlled by movement of the eyes. 

  

The presentation event took place in the Technology Park of Guipúzcoa, with the participation of Estibaliz Hernáez, Deputy Minister of Technology, Innovation and Competitiveness of the Basque Government and Aitor Urcelai, Director of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Information Society of the Basque Country. Basque Government, who have commented on the importance of collaboration between large companies and start-ups for the process of transition to the digital age and to improve the competitiveness of the industrial fabric in Euskadi. 

  

Through the BIND 4.0 program, ABB and Irisbond began their collaboration to explore the possibility of applying eye-tracking technology to robot control. ABM's two-arm collaborative robot YuMi was the perfect choice to begin testing control technology through vision for its complete integration into the digital environment and its features that allow for a completely safe man-machine interaction. 

  

The solution is based on the software "webtracker" that allows the control of computers with the movement of the eyes monitored through webcam. This system uses sophisticated algorithms based on the positioning of the face and eyes with the aim of allowing users to interact with the robot and control it in a natural way. 

  

This research opens a wide field of possibilities for new applications of industrial robotics, especially the man-robot collaborative robotics, including new job integration options for people with disabilities. ABB and Irisbond remain committed to continue working together in the coming months on this promising project. 

  

About Irisbond 

  

Irisbond is a company whose mission is to promote the natural communication with the environment through the look, favoring the right to the communication of people affected by different limitations or improving the usability experience. Irisbond focuses on the development of systems based on eye-tracking technology, applied to various sectors including accessibility, industrial integration or scientific applications. 

  

About ABB 

  

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technological leader in electrification, robotics and kinematics equipment, industrial automation and power grids, for customers of public services, industries and transportation and infrastructures around the world. Continuing its more than 125 years of innovation history, ABB is currently writing the future of industrial digitization and is driving the energy revolution and the fourth industrial revolution. ABB operates in more than 100 countries and has about 132,000 employees. 

  

About Bind 4.0 

  

BIND 4.0 is an innovative international acceleration program led by the Basque Government and the main industrial companies with presence in Euskadi. Aimed at new technology companies with solutions aimed at the industry, BIND 4.0 offers the possibility of collaborating and establishing a customer-supplier relationship with leading industrial companies such as Mercedes Benz, ABB, CAF or Michelin, as well as a complete support program. 

  

In the first edition, a total of 257 companies from 41 countries were presented, from which 11 startups have finally been selected, which have developed a total of 16 projects together with large industrial companies. The call for the second edition of the Program begins next July. 

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