Welcome To NeuroRobotic Technologies
Our mission is to develop intelligent machines to improve the quality of life for our customers. Getting all of the things you need done in a day can be challenging, especially when you have a family. Its a daily battle keeping the house clean, the lawn mowed, the garden weeded, the clothes washed, dried, and put away, and the meals cooked. We would all love to have the luxury to focus on the important things in life like spending more time with our kids, reading a good book, or learning something new. Our goal it to provide tools that give you more time to enjoy the good things in life.
Image a world where you could buy inexpensive, intelligent robotic minions to help you with your daily tasks? What if you could leave for your day and several robots would go around your house and pick up all the items on the floor and put them back where they belong? The toys strewn all over the floor would magically be placed back into the toy boxes. The clothes would be washed, folded, and placed in the correct drawer. The newly cleared floor would get vacuumed and mopped. Some simple floor washing and vacuuming robots are available from companies like iRobot today, but they are a long way from what anyone would describe as intelligent. They randomly roll around a room bouncing off the walls in the hope that if they are run long enough they will eventually suck up all the dirt. It also takes a great deal of prep work and pre-cleaning just to be able to run them. All the stuff on the floor has to be picked up and then you have to constantly monitor them to make sure they have not gotten stuck or sucked up something they should not have.
How to get there
At NeuroRobotic Technologies we believe that technology is finally at the point where it is possible to build better, more intelligent robots that can perform these types of tasks. We feel that one of the keys to this is using what researchers have learned about how real insects and other animals move and behave. This will allow us to mimic similar behaviors in robots. For example, at the moment an iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaning robot has no way of knowing where it is in its environment, or where the different rooms are located in the house, or where its charger is relative to its current position. Over the last two decades researchers studying how ants and other insects map out their environment have learned a great deal about how their nervous systems accomplish this task. A number of systems have been built using robots, and within simulations, that demonstrate this remarkable ability to map out their environment, and navigate in the real world. This allows the robot to make a mental map of its environment and where it is in relation to important things like the next room it needs to clean, where the toy it just picked up should go, or where its battery charger is located.
Another major factor in why it is now possible to produce these types of robots is the availability of small, powerful embedded mini-computers that have the horsepower to process the visual and neural data. New computers like the NVidia Jetson TK1 and the Parallella are small, light-weight, low-power, inexpensive, and have massive number crunching abilities. They use multiple cores or streams that make it possible to perform parallel computing on a robot that was only previously possible on a supercomputer. By combining these new tools with the research on how animals perform some of their remarkable feats, we believe that the age of truly helpful and intelligent robots is finally arriving, and we would like to play a major role in making that a reality.