Wandelbots has developed a suit that teaches robots how to work, meaning they no longer have to be manually programmed.
It means anyone can teach them what to do, even if they don’t know how to code. This also means it can significantly speed up the time it takes to get robots completing tasks – a simple demo and away they go.
Although the concept behind Wandelbots is nothing new, with vision-based systems already available to developers, it uses a slightly different method to teach robots. Inside the suits, there are 9-axis sensors that transmit a huge array of datapoints to the robot, including magnometer and orientation information.
The robot learns using repeat demonstrations and then a human can tweak the actions to make sure it’s completely accurate.
The founder of Wandelbots, Christian Piechnick explained to Techcrunch that although a human still needs to tweak the operation, it’s significantly cheaper than using a typical robotics process. In fact, traditional methods can cost up to $50,000 and each new task needs to be meticulously programmed.
The Wandelbots suit makes this 20 times faster – with most robots able to learn in just a week and it’s 10 to 20 times cheaper than using manual coding.
The reason Wandelbots wanted to make it cheaper and faster to programme robots was because coding skills are in such short supply, developers aren’t able to complete projects on time and charge high fees as a result. This way means that developers are only needed in very small amounts, with inexperienced people able to do the brunt of the work.
The robot suit should be available to commercial customers by the end of 2018 and it already has a few large customers testing it out, including one of the largest ‘whiteware’ robotics software suppliers in China.