GeckoSystems enables verbal control of mobile robots while their sensor fusion enables person following

Conyers 06 August 2008GeckoSystems International Corporation has completed the prototyping and development of its mobile robot verbal control and interaction software and hardware system, GeckoChat 2.1, as well as of its mobile robot person following software and hardware system, GeckoTrak 2.0, using advanced voice recognition, synthesis and sensor fusion technologies. GeckoSystems is a dynamic expert in the emerging Mobile Service Robot (MSR) industry revolutionizing their development and usage with mobile robot solutions for safety, security, and service.


"We have worked for some years to develop the ability for our CareBot MSR's to intelligently listen and respond to spoken commands of the caregiver and/or care receiver. GeckoChat can be readily customized for words and phrases recognized; and for words, phrases, and sentences that would be appropriate responses. In affect, the family can now create a unique personality for their family members by choosing the cadence, tonality, breathiness, etc. of the voice synthesis in addition to the various family anecdotes and colloquialisms specifically selected for the care receiver's benefit. GeckoChat continues the development of fundamental functional benefits needed to cost-effectively provide utility to families for remote care taking of their members and other loved ones. This will benefit all our stakeholders and improve ROI for our investors", concluded Mr. R. Martin Spencer, President/CEO.

GeckoChat enables their CareBots to timely and repetitively - using GeckoScheduler - remind Grandma, or other care receivers, to take medications, of favourite TV shows coming on, relatives and/or friends coming to visit, and other timely, routine reminders by clearly saying the needed medication reminders, etc. to serve as a surrogate short term memory. Using GeckoChat, their CareBot's personality can be readily changed and enhanced using a high-level user interface on their PC.

Natural language processing and a forward chaining expert system written in Prolog is the primary structure of the AI engine known as GeckoChat. GeckoScheduler is written in C++. This new set of interactive verbal behaviours brings a new level of situational awareness to their mobile robots with actionable intelligence. Situational awareness is the environmental understanding resulting from blended sensor systems - such as listening and seeing - and the common sense implications of those combined perceptions.

"We also have developed the ability for our CareBot MSR's to automatically follow, or find, a person designated for our fully autonomous mobile robots to be in constant and close proximity. This third leg of our three legged milk stool of GeckoNav, GeckoChat, and now GeckoTrak completes the fundamental functional benefits", added Mr. R. Martin Spencer.

GeckoTrak has the ability, in conjunction with GeckoNav to automatically follow the designated persons around in their daily routine about their home, in addition to allowing routine web cam video surveillance of the care receiver.

GeckoSystems uses advanced sensor fusion to merge machine vision, passive IR, and sonar to identify and/or locate the person of interest in GeckoTrak. Sensor fusion is a scientifically homogenized situational awareness system resulting from the implicit synergies in aggregated, subsumptive detection and range finding systems. These deliberately blended detection systems enable heightened, if not extraordinary, environmental perception sufficient to indicate common sense responses.

GeckoTrak software merges and interprets data from three different, layered sensor systems to automatically follow a designated person anywhere in their home. A scanning passive infrared (PIR) sensor detects a person's body heat and reports its orientation to GeckoTrak for further processing. Highly optimized machine vision algorithms are employed to learn, remember, and identify the care receiver's daily attire. A sonar range finder is instrumental in maintaining a safe, predetermined distance between the CareBot and the care receiver.

GeckoNav provides the artificial intelligence to automatically guide the CareBot to remain proximate while avoiding obstacles automatically to where GeckoTrak determines the care receiver to be. The software portions of GeckoTrak run on two separate, low power 40Mhz and 1 Ghz onboard computers in their advanced biological hierarchical system architecture.

More company news is available in the VMW August 2008 article GeckoSystems unveils proprietary sensor fusion for mobile robots.

Leslie Versweyveld

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