Image from Vecna Robotics

There is a range of services already being provided for us by robots, such as in the manufacturing sector, with automatic cars and within the medical sector from different companies, including Vecna Robotics. Robots are also being used more extensively in the educational sector, and this article will look at different approaches to using robotics in the educational sector, both for individual use in the home and in formal educational environments, and compare them to how robots are being used in healthcare by Vecna.

What Is Vecna Robotics?

man standing beside vecna robotics

Image Via Flickr

Vecna makes self-driving intelligent machines and independently remote controlled units. They focus on improving workflows and increasing human productivity. This organization focuses on healthcare, fulfillment, manufacturing, warehousing, and the hospitality sector.

Their systems use an array of multimodal sensors for reliable navigation and simple user interfaces that allow quick training and fast integration into your work teams The company has three distinct areas of activity, such as Material Handling, where their self-driving vehicles increase workflow and productivity through automating pick up, drop off and transport. Vecna can also execute put-away, cross-docking, replenishment and other point-to-point deliveries.

Vecna now also offers Hybrid Fulfillment, which is an expression used to describe collaborative work practices between humans and robots, combining strengths in real time. Piece pick, cart pick and case pick operations can be automated. Totes, cases and pallets can be delivered autonomously, with operations adapting to customer demands. Vecna also has its own artificial intelligence (A.I.) engine, which constantly analyzes work processes to ensure that tasks are completed in the most optimum way possible.

Product Specs

Vecna has three distinct methods which make their delivery unique.

Their A.I. base engine is called Pivotal, and it is connected to MS and MES systems to ensure that tasks are distributed equally according to individual capabilities, location and availability.

Vecna systems use Beacon, which is an engine that merges software updates, neural networks and data analytics to Vecna’s 24.7 remote operations center. The company produces vehicles that are constructed at aero-space grade with multi-level safety systems. It has 360 degrees of sensor protection, and speeds are automatically adjusted according to environmental conditions and load capacities. The speeds are also ANSI b65.5 compliant.

The VGo TelePresence System unit enables a person to be in a distant location and have the freedom to move around as if they were physically there. With VGo, you can see, hear, talk, interact, and go anywhere. The VGO is a productivity improvement solution that is much more than a videoconferencing or TelePresence solution where two or more people meet using specially equipped rooms or PCs in their offices. With VGo, you are completely independent of the people in the distant location, as it’s 100 percent remote controlled. Your presence is established remotely via VGo’s physical presence. Some users describe VGo as their personal “avatar,” and they are primarily being used in education and healthcare. The VGo has a simple interface with a speaker control and microphone on/off controls. There are separate controls for the lights. It can also take a hi-resolution photograph that is sent to your desk computer immediately and battery life indicators. The VGo can read out aloud any text that you type and zoom incoming video on your computer screen up to five times its size.

Robot Mechanical Arm

​Image Via Pixabay

Medical uses of Vgo’s include their use in home visits, where doctors can be present alongside nursing staff or virtually enable sick children to be present at family events.

Pricing

The VGo is expensive at around $6,000, which makes it a professional tool rather than an object to be used for training children. However, the E-1000 used in schools and home-based environments is a much more affordable $3,000.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • Root Robotics
  • Cue Robotics
  • Symbiotic

Vecna Robotics VG TelePresence System

Ease of Use

Several RPR’s can be controlled by one person, reducing the need for staff in distribution and warehousing locations. It has controllable wheels, four microphones and two speakers, one at the top of the unit and one at the bottom. It has an easy-to-use interface with embedded Wi-Fi. The camera can be folded away when not in use, and the computer applications make storing data on your desktop computer easy.

Durability

The VGo prides itself on its robust, long-lasting design.

Design Quality

This technology has a simple and strong design, which is useful in a range of educational, warehouse or medical environments. It has a standard six-hour battery and a handheld remote control. The unit has headlights and is installed with the VGO application. It also has GoNet Manager, which is a web-based robot and user management administration software program.

Warranty

The VGo has a one-year warranty for hardware, as well as options for annual warranty upgrades.

Pros

  • Eas​​​​​y to use interface
  • Used in primary and secondary school classrooms
  • Flexible tool that can be applied to a wide variety of organizational challenges
  • Integrated with a camera, video display and microphones
  • Designed for indoor environments
  • Simple to use and can be accessed remotely
  • Can be used by one person or a team of people

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited warranty
Root Ro​​botics

Image Via Amazon

Root Robotics trains young people how to use and understand computer codes. The Root Robot uses gaming tools in domestic environments and formal educational environments to introduce young people to coding. Their robotic tools are designed to be used with children from the age of 4 upwards.

Root’s software platform resides somewhere between robotics, gaming and education. Their Root Robots toy has several interactive surfaces that help immerse children in coding languages. These robots have won many awards from teachers and design organizations, as they offer a step-by-step progress for young children to learn how to use text-based coding in an easy and fun manner.

Ease of Use

Root resources are easy to use and aimed at all age groups. This Root robot product is easy to set up and can be used within five to 10 minutes of opening the box. The pack contains a Root Robot that can be controlled remotely via an iPad or iPhone. The pack contains a fold out whiteboard, four reusable decorating sheets, one USB charging cable, two dry markers, one Dry Erase cloth, and a Root Coding App that is downloadable from the APP store.

Durability

The Root Robot is built of a strong and sturdy design, which can easily withstand knocks and falls.

Design Quality

Robots have a unique, small, fun design which children are instantly attracted to. It has two light sensors, four touch-sensitive surfaces, and magnetic surface sensors to attach itself to whiteboards. It also has two drive wheels that can be remotely operated.

Warranty

The robot has a one-year warranty.

Pros

  • Easy to use for all ages
  • Battery lasts all day
  • Creative features such as drawing and playing music built-in
  • Magnetic latching points
  • Foldout whiteboards and markers included
  • Very popular with children

Cons

  • Users need an iPad or iPhone to operate the robot
  • Children need to have developed basic cognitive skills to use this product
  • Root Academy for advanced Level 3 users costs $5 a month
Wonder Workshop Dash

Image Via Amazon

The Cue Robot helps children learn block coding and then transition to text-based JavaScript. It is designed for children aged 11 and upwards. The robot has an interactive A.I. with four different Avatar personalities. It can talk about books and tell jokes, and it has over 170,000 words in its vocabulary and 30,000 text responses. The Cue Robot has 40 pre-programmed challenges and can be used for over 30 hours after a single charge.

Children can deliver commands to the robot through their smartphones or tablets and progress quickly from giving simple stop, start instructions to handling more complex sequences. These programs have been used successfully in classrooms.

The Cue robot works with Apple OS, Android, Chromebook, Windows 10 and Kindle Fire.

Ease of Use

This product is easy to use straight out of the box.

Durability

The robot is strong enough to withstand knocks and scrapes.

Design Quality

The Cue Robot is small and robust, with three proximity sensors, three microphones, and one speaker. It has a programmable LED and buttons, as well as two powered wheels. There is real-time blue tooth and IR RObot interaction. The Cue Robot includes Wonder, a state-machine-based language designed to handle concepts like decision making, handling sensor data, and performing tasks in parallel communication modes.

Warranty

This product comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros

  • Last for over 30 hours on one charge
  • Robust design
  • Provides over 40 challenges
  • Charge, Zest, Pep and SMirk avatars
  • One character and one mission free
  • Fun

Cons

  • Needs smartphone or iPad to give instructions
  • Doesn’t move well on carpet
  • Additional avatars and missions cost extra
  • Not suitable for adults
Bee-Bot Rechargeable Robot

Image Via Amazon

Symbotic creates a range of different educational toys for children. Among them is the Symbotic Bee-Bot, which is a small, colorful little robot that is easy to operate. It has 40 commands, which are operated through directional keys that can send the Bee-Bot in all directions.

There is a green GO button, and the Bee-Bot will blink and beep at the end of each finished command. It also confirms the end of a sequence through lights and sounds, and it is a great way to introduce children to creation of complex command sequences. While the Bee-Bot is a much simpler product with fewer functions than other children’s robotics that are designed to help children learn to code languages, it is really fun and can be enjoyable for younger children.

Ease of Use

The Bee-Bot is easy to use.

Durability

The Bee-Bot is built of strong and sturdy materials.

Design Quality

The bee-bot has a small yellow and black design, and it is made of sturdy plastic. It has four buttons and a Go button. The robot also has flashing lights, as well as sound transmitters.

Warranty

The Bee-Bot is guaranteed for one year.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Good introduction to programming
  • Strong and durable
  • Lesson ideas for home and school classroom available on the website

Cons

  • No additional resources provided
  • No connected applications
  • Expensive

Conclusion

There are many interesting developments in the world of robotics, with new products constantly being developed for children, as well as for use in professional sectors, including manufacturing, hospitality and education.

The VGo is a tool that has a multitude of benefits for the personal and professional user. The benefits of having microphones that can record live sound and live photographs with a camera that can be manipulated physically to view an object or person from different angles cannot be underestimated. The ability to have a zoom function that enables remote users to take photographs that can be then diagnosed by professionals, as well as the ability for remote users to have direct communication via typed messages, means that this is a tool that has a range of applications in education, as well. While currently being used primarily in the educational and health sector, it can also be used in engineering for training and management functions. Completely different from connecting and conversing with colleagues in video conferencing solutions, VGo is unique because it allows a different, more personal degree of third person interaction that enables the speaker(s) to feel as if they are physically present in a different physical location.

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