Why not take everything you know about developing unmanned vehicles and pour it all into the making of a mobile robot assistant? That was the thinking from Eduard Trotsenko, general director and founder of INFOCOM Ltd, the Ukrainian developer of control systems for unmanned vehicles since 2014.
His decision was very timely, as we have come to realize with the COVID pandemic’s desperate need for mobile autonomous and tele-operated indoor vehicles, like mobile robot assistants.
INFOCOM, located in the city of Zaporozhye, about 350 miles south of Kyiv, on the Dnieper River, had made its high-tech reputation on vehicles for the police, security, and military. With a newer, much smaller vehicle, one geared for healthcare, logistics, delivery, and even remote teaching and tele-medicine, INFOCOM’s mobile robot assistant suddenly was a product with a much larger base of addressable customers.
INFOCOM called its new mobile robot TIMA (no relation to the Israeli-born temi). Since June of 2020, when the development team, led by Sergey Rumyantsev, delivered up their TIMA, the company has worked to introduce the mobile robot to the global marketplace.
We asked Rumyantsev to tells us a little about his company and new mobile robot. Here’s what he wrote back:
In June 2020, the team of the Zaporozhye company INFOCOM LTD presented a robot focused on solving a wide range of tasks, including in the health sector under quarantine conditions. The development was named TIMA.
What can TIMA do?
TIMA is an easily configured mobile robot assistant that can identify voice commands, gestures, can be easily programmed to fulfill recurring tasks, help to visit remote places or events; for example, one can order telepresence services on exhibitions, lectures, meetings, parties or remotely monitoring an apartment or home.
The TIMA robot has its own algorithms for object identification, routing, object following, obstacle identification, voice control, and gesture reading, which were originally developed for control systems for unmanned vehicles. INFOCOM’s know-how from the field of unmanned vehicles enabled TIMA’s robot functionality:
- Study the environment to build a map;
- When receiving a task, build a route and independently reach destination;
- Having identified an object or person that is an obstacle on the way, dynamically calculate the change of route and avoid the obstacle;
- Depending on the settings – when an obstacle is detected (depending on the type of object: person, object), the TIMA robot can stop and report a forced stop;
- Due to “return home” function, he autonomously returns to the initial point;
- Robot monitors the charge level returns to charge itself after completing the task; if, according to preliminary calculations, the robot does not have enough power to complete the task, he will inform about it;
- Thanks to the constant network connection, you can always find out the location of the robot.
Despite autonomously performing tasks, TIMA allows secure connection to the robot remotely with control through an application installed on a smartphone, tablet, or website designed to monitor the status of the robot and remotely maintain it.
Remote control is useful feature to TIMA as a telepresence robot, either in timely connections to negotiations or in moving around an office.
TIMA for home & office
Autonomous mode, TIMA’s functionality can be widely used at any premises whether at home or in office. As robot has integrated tablet, you can use it as telepresence device and connect to any other user using Internet – TIMA will follow you and support communication.
TIMA can be a good companion to children or adults to entertain, assist, or to connect to relatives, or provide remote presence when someone is ill and needs monitoring. The following tasks can be used at home and office:
- Watch video
- Carrying things according to route
- Use for remote control
- Entertaining and assistance for visitors
- Giving information as reception, following the leading person or executing commands, carrying goods or luggage, or brochures.
TIMA: Innovative, reliable wait solution for restaurants & cafes
Thanks to its fast movement and computer memory, a TIMA waiter can be used as an assistant in a café or restaurant, with the transfer of orders instantaneous (via the Internet) or using the telepresence function.
The TIMA waiter robot will be an excellent waiter and a technological novelty at a banquet or reception, delighting guests with delicious snacks:
- Meeting with guests,
- Escorting guests to free tables
- Taking food orders, informing about new menu items
- Special offers for guests
- Delivery of orders
Navigation is realized through standard autonomous system for building-up the map of premises with additional setting of tables.
TIMA: Medical disinfecting & assisting in hospitals
According to statistics, nurses spend around 30% of work time on household issues: delivery of medicines, visiting a warehouse, delivery of tests, etc.
On the other hand, the satisfaction of patients and relatives of patients with a medical institution directly depends on the time that nurses spend with patients.
The TIMA-Medic Robot will be able to free nurses from the routine tasks of visiting the warehouse, delivering test results and other household work. In addition, TIMA is equipped with a flow-through recirculator for bacterial air purification and disinfection, making its functionality wider:
Minimization of contact between patients and medical personnel
- Transportation of medicines, household goods
- Communication with patients, control
- Accompanying patients
- Carrying out disinfection, quartzing the floor
TMA guide for promotion & study
The functionality of the telepresence robot will be able to help you visit an exhibition, museum, presentation – you can teleport to anywhere in the world for negotiations, meetings.
The robot guide will be able to help the administrator in the hotel, airport, medical center, or in the main lobby of a company:
- Meeting with guests
- Escort to the desired place / office
- Distribution of information / booklets
- Reproduction of advertising information, company information
- Delivery of booklets, leaflets
TIMA: Logistics for automated warehouse
The logistics robot is another example of the automation of routine and non-easy operations in warehouses. The TIMA logistics robot is equipped with algorithms to identify obstacles/humans, equipment for building a warehouse map and setting storage locations.
Thus, TIMA does not focus on any markup of the warehouse, although it can also be included in the robot’s map but focuses on machine vision systems with its own algorithms for recognizing objects and people.
In addition, the robot constantly monitors its location on the map using real-time positioning technology.
Navigation through the warehouse is realized using its own algorithms for building a path in a premise, calculating the optimal route, and setting a standard route by the operator.
The loading capacity and dimensions of the warehouse robot may vary depending on the needs of the customer and the size and type of the warehouse (dimensions of the transported container / packaging, weight of goods, etc.).
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TIMA: