During CEATEC 2018, the company behind this amazing Avatar robot, Meltin MMI, has announced that an additional $18M in a Series-B funding round.
Meltin MMI is known for its MELTANT-α Avatar Robot that goes much further than a simply telepresence gimmick capable of waving and seeing. Meltant’s precision control and motions allow operators to use it as the most advanced avatar we have seen to date, making it a true Avatar for mission-critical work.
The robot can be remotely operated via Virtual Reality and lets the operator perform subtle motions such as grabbing a game card from someone’s hand or open a plastic water bottle. Anyone who’s tried your average Avatar robot knows that these are extremely difficult things to do reliably.
The avatar’s performance is great enough that there’s an evaluation underway to see if it could help perform tasks in the space station, possibly opening the door to having remote operators to supplement the crew. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is also mulling using this avatar for a moon mission.
One of the key aspects in the Avatar robot concept is the ability to project oneself and perform actions in extremely remote, or hostile conditions.
With the current state of telecommunications, having video and control signals go back and forth isn’t the problem. However, the precision of the sensors and mechanics certainly is, and Meltin MMI is helping pave the way towards a future where Avatars become truly operational.