iRobot Corp., the leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions, today announced the uPoint Multi-Robot Control (MRC) system, a universal control system for iRobot's line of defense and security robots that will enable robot operators to be more proficient than ever before.
The uPoint MRC system runs an Android-based app that standardizes the control of any robot within the iRobot family of unmanned vehicles. Utilizing the same intuitive touchscreen technology in use today on millions of digital devices, the uPoint MRC system simplifies robot operations including driving, manipulation and inspection, allowing operators to focus more on the mission at hand.
"Success as a robot operator during high-stress, critical operations depends on precise and reliable control, so the interface needs to be intuitive," said Frank Wilson, senior vice president and general manager of iRobot's Defense & Security business unit. "We've leveraged decades of experience working with robot operators and held dozens of user focus groups to develop the uPoint MRC system. The uPoint MRC system drives mission effectiveness by decreasing training time and increasing overall ease of use. With uPoint, you point and the robot goes."
The uPoint MRC system is currently compatible with a range of ruggedized and consumer Android-based touchscreen tablets. With an easy-to-use interface that puts robot controls at your fingertips, the era of digging deep in menus is a thing of the past.
Every aspect of controlling robots is made easier with the uPoint MRC system, with features that include:
- A virtual joystick that allows users to touch and drag anywhere on the main video feed to steer the robot
- Predictive drive lines that help guide operators through tight spots
- Autonomous driving modes including vector drive to hold a desired heading
- Simplified manipulation with direct control of the arm on a virtual model
- Data sharing from the operator's controller to other team members or remote observers
- Easy switching on the same tablet between different robots operating in the vicinity
- Video recording; capture digital evidence and upload it to the cloud or a secure network where files can be managed, retrieved, and shared
- Enhanced product sustainment thanks to remote software updates, embedded training tutorials, and built-in maintenance functions
- The ability to execute important tasks from the Android device, including consulting reference materials, checking email and using other non-robot related mission apps
The uPoint MRC system also features the uPoint Robot Radio, which offers improved communications and smart networking. The uPoint Robot Radio leverages frequency agility – the ability to automatically switch away from congested frequencies – power management, and mesh networking to form a robust network in which robots, operators, and observers work seamlessly together. With the uPoint Robot Radio, robots can travel deeper into complex structures and further downrange than previously possible.