Ohmni Labs Telepresence Robots are becoming increasingly adopted in different fields to solve some of the unique challenges we face in modern times with distance learning and pandemic restrictions, as well as the adoption of more remote solutions for the long term. But this robot is far more useful than simple teleconferencing, as we can see by these three unique fields in which it has been used.
Exploring the educational, retail, and assisted living sectors gives us an idea of the true scope of usefulness this telepresence robot has for modern users. Curious to learn more? Here are some recent examples of how the Ohmni Robot is changing people’s lives in many unique ways!
Ohmni Robot Goes to College
What comes to mind when you hear about robots in the classroom? Is it possible to imagine a four-foot-tall, controllable robot with a wide-angle camera panel and an ultra-responsive tilting neck?Students in the counselling education program at the University of Wyoming now have access to two OhmniLabs Telepresence Robots for instruction, and it’s having a big impact.
Recent efforts by faculty members Amanda DeDiego, PhD, NCC and R. Paul Maddox led to the award of a $5,000 grant, which they used to invest in two OhmniLabs Telepresence Robots and incorporate them into their curriculum.
The two Ohmni robots are specifically used to teach students play therapy and basic psychology skills, as well as to encourage them to participate in role-playing, which is important for students in counseling. When physical proximity is not a choice, the robot helps students to perform play therapy or simple counselling as if they were with the client during COVID-19.
Though reactions were mixed at first, UW reports that students have adapted to this learning tool and are excited to use them.
The program on the robot is HIPAA and FERPA-compliant. The customer does not need to download any particular software. The administrator will easily create a connection on their end and send it to the receiver, who would only require Wi-Fi to operate the robot. The administrator can set controls such as the amount of time the connection is active and whether or not certain features are allowed or disabled.
Telepresence robotics can be used in a variety of settings, including physical therapy, speech and language therapy, nursing, and counselling, in addition to schools. The robots have even come in handy when students are unable to attend classes in person, for meetings with faculty members and students or friends, for guest speakers, even for graduate students who can sit in on classes and even co-teach. Unlike Zoom, the robots can be operated by the user and can move around the room, be at eye level while people are sitting around a table, move the screen on their own to look at various parts of the room, and see body language in greater detail than a human.
EPCOR Customers’ Virtual Shopping Experience
AFI KLM E&M subsidiary EPCOR has paired robotics with video conferencing technology to provide a more immersive virtual inspection experience to customers, in the form of Virtual Table Inspections (VTI) where customers worldwide can move around the shop and examine products, just like they would if they were physically present.
The robot can be controlled remotely and can run at a top speed of 1 mph. Customers can take charge of the robot and push it inside EPCOR's shop to inspect components, consult with engineers and technicians about repair options, and allow peers to enter from their own remote locations, unlike other virtual inspection offerings where video conferencing happens from a static spot.
The company and its subsidiaries began experimenting with proximity solutions following COVID-19 related travel restrictions, but video conferencing technologies and devices provided constraints because customers needed to guide technicians in the shop to get the right footage. The Ohmni Robot provided a solution to this by taking a more physical approach to video conferencing that gave users more control and autonomy even from a remote location.
“We have received a lot of positive feedback on our robot solution and I expect that even in post COVID-19 time, the VTI will outperform the in-person table inspections,” says Bernard Kuiken, commercial director, EPCOR. “Also, foreign authorities visiting our facility for auditing and approvals are welcome to use PYTHON to visit the shop.”
EPCOR says it plans to expand this solution to other departments to make this technology available to more of its partners and customers.
Robotics and Assisted Living
After being chosen to test drive an Ohmni telepresence robot in his house, a resident of IRT Links Seaside Wollongong on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, has caught a glimpse of the future.
During the pandemic last year, Canberra-based Robotics 4 Good loaned the robot to IRT to see how the device will help alleviate the adverse effects of social alienation and provide uninterrupted treatment for home care customers during lockdown.
“If you want to see what the future of ageing in place looks like, telepresence robots could well be part of it,” says Ross Gallagher, IRT Group Executive General Manager.
“The robot has applications from a social connectivity perspective and a caring perspective. We’re really excited about it.”
The robot can be used to perform remote treatment plan and budget analyses, regular health tests, and may also be used in the future to track vitals and wound care.
The robot is a wheeled platform that can be controlled remotely by family and caregivers to drive around the house. It has a wide-angle monitor on a screen with a tilting neck for a larger field of view than a mobile system or tablet can have. Users don’t have to hold or click something, and the robot auto-docks into a charging station after each call.
All in all, it’s been a great tool for this assisted living facility, so that the elderly can contact their families, and so that families can ensure their loved ones are safe and cared for, all from a safe distance.
Whether it’s checking in on elderly loved ones, shopping safely, or aiding in remote educational experiences, the Ohmni Robot is demonstrating its usefulness and versatility—as well as its exciting potential. There are potentially limitless applications for its use, and as more industries seek to innovate and adapt to the changing times, the Ohmni Robot may just be the cross-industry solution the world needs now, more than ever.
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