James Cameron’s Avatar made a very big splash when it came out, with practically everyone raving about the movie. Well, maybe not about the story line but the movie in general. It was not my first 3D experience, but I found it pretty fun. Truth be told, I have never seen it again in its entirety. Once was enough, in my opinion.
What is interesting about Avatar is the concept of being able to project yourself as another being. Now that is the stuff that science fiction is made of, and these things are always fascinating. What if this can actually be done in real life?
In Japan, some researchers have taken a step towards making this idea a reality. A small step, to be sure, but still a step.
Keio University’s Graduate School professor Susumu Tachi has developed the TELESAR V, which has already gotten the nickname Avatar Robot. The idea is for a robot to be controlled by a human being using special equipment. That’s not new, sure, but the Avatar Robot takes things a little further. So you have the robot and the controlling devices, but more than being able to control the movements of the Avatar Robot, the human controller can see, hear, and feel what the robot is experiencing.
The possible applications for the Avatar Robot are potentially limitless! For starters, though, one can easily see how it can be used for situations and locations that pose high risks for humans. Think the Fukushima nuclear plant. Think other nuclear plants that may have problems in the future. Of course, we cannot discount the use of the Avatar Robot by the military as well, which is indeed the main purpose of the technology used in the movie.
While we may not see the Avatar Robot any time soon, this is exciting news!