MIAMI (Feb. 10, 2014) –- Researchers and students in FIU’s Discovery Lab have developed the initial prototype of a TeleBot — which combines telepresence and robotics — to allow disabled police and military personnel to serve as patrol officers.
A demonstration of the prototype will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 at the Graham Center pit on FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus. Unlike the RoboCop of the movie that premieres this week, the FIU TeleBot is not expected to cause damage to life or property.
Researchers and students have worked for more than 18 months to refine technology that will allow a disabled person to control the robot remotely, see everything the robot “sees” and interact with members of the public.
“This kind of project requires a lot of hard work, technical expertise and resources,” said Jong-Hoon Kim, director of the Discovery Lab. “We had to build everything from scratch. The students are very motivated and feel like they are making a real contribution.”
Having overcome multiple challenges, chief among them proper hand functioning, the team has finished work on a prototype that stands six feet tall, weighs about 75 pounds and can be controlled from a remote location.
The TeleBot project began in 2012 when Jeremy Robins, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, donated $20,000 to the Discovery Lab to develop an idea he had to bring disabled law enforcement officers, as well as disabled combat veterans, back to the force.
“What impresses me most about the TeleBot prototype is that most of the work was performed by undergraduate students operating under very tight budget and time constraints,” Robins said.
Amir Mirmiran, dean of the FIU College of Engineering and Computing, said the TeleBot is a product of the imagination of faculty and students who apply out-of-the-box thinking to tackle real problems with smart solutions at affordable costs.
“The project has far-reaching impacts on the education side as well, since we know that robots are great tools to get students of all ages engaged in engineering and computer coding,” Mirmiran said.
For a video of the TeleBot, click here.
by James Hellegaard
About the FIU College of Engineering and Computing:Florida International University’s College of Engineering and Computing is South Florida’s leading engineering education resource. The College offers a complete range of fully accredited engineering baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in biomedical, civil and environmental, electrical and computer, and mechanical and materials engineering; construction management; and computing and information sciences. With close to $20 million of external funding, research is an integral part of the College’s mission and its success. The College is committed to diversity, and is the largest producer of Hispanic engineers, and one of the top producers of African-American engineers and females with doctoral degrees in engineering. For more information about the FIU College of Engineering and Computing, visit http://www.cec.fiu.edu
Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU is Worlds Ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. FIU has awarded 200,000 degrees and enrolls 50,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. FIU is a member of Conference USA and has 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.