IRobot has released the uPoint Multi-Robot Control (MRC) system: an Android app that acts as a universal remote for the company’s defense and security robots. While it won’t help you get your Roomba into that tricky corner of your living room, it will give the military and researchers (who often work with iRobot’s defense and security products) a new way to control their bots.
“We’ve leveraged decades of experience working with robot operators and held dozens of user focus groups to develop the uPoint MRC system,” Frank Wilson, senior vice president and general manager of iRobot’s Defense & Security business unit, said in a press release. “The uPoint MRC system drives mission effectiveness by decreasing training time and increasing overall ease of use. With uPoint, you point and the robot goes.”
The app includes a virtual joystick that users manipulate to guide the robot. Guide lines on the screen help users navigate through tight spots, and operators can switch between bots easily. Operators can even record video taken by the robot and then share it with colleagues.
According to the press release, the app also has “the ability to execute important tasks from the Android device, including consulting reference materials, checking email and using other non-robot related mission apps.” So you can still check your email while detonating that suspicious package!