By Andy Choi
GeckoSystems Intl. Corp., announced that they have improved the safety and performance of their proprietary mobile robot navigation software, GeckoNav™ with the creation of their latest invention, GeckoImager™.
GeckoSystems is a dynamic leader in the emerging mobile robotics industry revolutionizing their development and usage with "Mobile Robot Solutions for Safety, Security and Service™."
"Our new GeckoImager is our fifth generation CompoundedSensorArray™. GeckoImager runs 5 to 10 times faster than its predecessor while achieving a system cost reduction of nearly 50%. GeckoImager uses proprietary sensor fusion incorporating structured light machine vision, ultrasonic range finding, etc. Our new image interpolation paradigm builds on our history of cost reducing, performance enhancing sensor fusion competencies. Truly, 2011 may well be the 'Year of the Personal Robot,' as stated by others recently," observed Martin Spencer, President/CEO, GeckoSystems.
Traditional video centric machine vision systems are very expensive in dollars, power consumed, and time required to provide new data (i.e. the update rate). Taking a clue from compound insect eyes in nature, GeckoSystems invented the CompoundedSensorArray over ten years ago. The first generation used ultrasonic and infrared range finders intelligently merged using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. Now with structured light machine vision fused with not only sonar, but also with GeckoOrient™ in a biological hierarchical architecture, significantly greater performance is realized with dramatic cost reductions.
"The amount of data that the new GeckoImager provides is far greater than what can reasonably be collected with fixed sensors and at a much lower cost than scanning laser range finding systems that are frequently used. Our new GeckoImager sensor fusion system not only provides timely and actionable situation awareness information sufficient for our AI navigation software, GeckoNav, but also satisfies those requirements at a much lower cost, in both dollars and power," stated Kevin O'Connor, Sr. EE Roboticist, Research and Development, GeckoSystems.
"Our ongoing world's first in home elder care robot trials have garnered many inquiries for us regarding our business model, technologies available for licensing, and interest in joint domestic and international ventures. This breakthrough may enable some near term business-to-business niche retrofit markets. We continue to expect technology-licensing revenues to precede revenues from product manufacturing and sales and have two or three prospective licensees in active discussions. This augurs well for increased ROI and shareholder value for our nearly 1400 investors," summarized Spencer.
Since 1997, GeckoSystems has developed a comprehensive, coherent, and sufficient suite of hardware and software inventions to enable a new type of home appliance (a personal robot), the CareBot, to be created for the mass consumer marketplace. GeckoNav is responsible for maneuvering, avoiding dynamic and/or static obstacles, seeking waypoints and patrolling. GeckoChat is responsible for interaction with the care-receiver such as answering questions, assisting with daily routines and reminders, and responding to other verbal commands. GeckoTrak, which is mostly transparent to the user, enables the CareBot to maintain proximity to the care-receiver using sensor fusion. The CareBot is a new type of Internet appliance, a personal assistant robot that is accessible for remote video/audio monitoring and telepresence.
The primary distribution channel for this new home appliance is the thousands of independent personal computer retailers in the U.S. The manufacturing infrastructure for this new product category of mobile service robots is essentially the same as the personal computer industry. Several outside contract manufacturers have been identified and qualified their ability to produce up to 1,000 CareBots per month within four to six months.
"We project the available market size in dollars for cost effective, utilitarian, multitasking eldercare personal robots in 2011 to be $74.0B, in 2012 to be $77B, in 2013 to be $80B, in 2014 to be $83.3B, and in 2015 to be $86.6B. With market penetrations of 0.03% in 2011, 0.06% in 2012, 0.22% in 2013, 0.53% in 2014, and 0.81% in 2015, we will anticipate CareBot sales, from this consumer market segment, only, of $22.0M, $44.0M, $176M, $440.2M, and $704.3M, respectively. We expect these sales despite -- and perhaps because of -- the present recession due to pent up demand for significant cost reduction in eldercare expenses," opined Spencer.
The Company's "mobile robot solutions for safety, security and service™" are appropriate not only for the consumer, but also professional healthcare, commercial security and defense markets. Professional healthcare require cost effective, timely errand running, portable telemedicine, etc. Homeland Security requires cost effective mobile robots to patrol and monitor public venues for weapons and WMD detection. Military users desire the elimination of the "man in the loop" to enable unmanned ground and air vehicles to not require constant human control and/or intervention.
By the end of this year, the Company plans to complete productization of its CareBot offering with the introduction of its fourth generation personal robot, the CareBot 4.0 MSR.