Leveraging Robotic Technology at Conferences

How to Create the Telerobotic Conference

Brought to you by the Creative Engineering team

Robotics and The Summer Olympic Games
 

2021 goes down in history as the first “robotic” Olympic Games. The Olympics and Paralympics featured a myriad of robot assistants that aided and supported both athletes and audience members in the Olympic experience.

So how does this relate to healthcare? Well, in today’s world, COVID-19 made virtual conferences the norm, where doctors can log on and explore booths through 360° video or some type of virtual reality. But what about a more outside of the box solution – a solution that combines the best parts of a virtual and in-person conference?

Imagine if you could control a robot to navigate a miniaturized conference space from the comfort of your own home.

First, let’s take a look at what was experienced at the 2021 Olympic Games

This year, the games located in Tokyo featured a number of robots in the form of mascots, assistants, humanoid robots, support bots, and power suits.

These include greeter robots that wave to audience members, and telepresence robots that can act as avatars, deployed in various locations in Japan, that can mimic these greeter robots so that no matter where you are, you have the opportunity to feel included.

Robot greeter

Of course, there are also robots that supported athletes during the games as well. The FSR Field Support Robots helped retrieve game objects during certain events.

FSR Field Support Robots

You can find a list of robots below (as far as we know) that will be present or utilized during the Summer Games.

Greeters
Mascot Robots – robots called Miraitowa and Someity that engage the audience and athletes by smiling and waving.

Transportation
Toyota e-Palette – an autonomous vehicle created to transport athletes and support staff to the main stadiums and back.

Avatar Telepresence:
T-HR3 Humanoid Robots – robots in Japan to mirror the movements and sounds of the Mascot Robots to provide a form of telepresence.
T-TRI Remote Location Robots – robots that allow remote audience members to talk to athletes through a screen and camera.

Olympic support Team:
FSR Field Support Robots – robots to retrieve various items like javelins during throwing events.

Audience support
DSR Delivery Support Robots – robots to bring refreshments and other things to audience members.
HSR Human Support Robots – robots that direct audience members to their seats and helps people in wheelchairs into their seats as well.

Physical Support:
Power-Assist Suits – exoskeletons worn by workers to help with heavy items in the village.

References:

7 Robots to Look for at the Upcoming 2021 Olympic Games

Meet the robots of the Tokyo Olympics

Bringing Robots to Conferences
 

Similar to the 2021 Tokyo Games, we’ve decided to integrate robotics into conferences to make experiences more immersive for HCPs, and change how conferences are designed, built, and interacted with. However, this idea goes back to the summer of 2020, right in the midst of quarantine, when we realized that robot conferences could have a huge application in a COVID and post-COVID world.

Think about this: a miniaturized conference space, completely customized to your brand’s campaign. The space is filled with small-scale booths and experiences that your attendees can interact with, all through their assigned robots that they can easily and safely access through a webpage. The robots themselves are equipped with cameras, mics, speakers, lights, and more, so users can see what’s going in the space around them and interact with other attendees in real-time.

Attendees can drive on a platform to activate an experience, participate in a collaborative scavenger hunt, escape a dark room using only their robot’s flashlight, or play some robot laser tag – the sky’s the limit on what we can do.

  • Some doctors and attendees may not be as tech-savvy as others, but that’s ok! Driving a robot around may seem daunting at first, but through a user-friendly interface we can make sure that people don’t get lost in the controls.
  • You can see below for a short, summarized list of features we are currently planning to introduce into our telerobotic conference.

Telerobotic Conference Features

  • A miniaturized conference space, fitted with interactive booths and experiences customized to your brand’s campaign.
  • Fully functional robots that can be equipped with mics, speakers, cameras, lights, and other gadgetry depending on the experience.
  • A user-friendly and immersive webpage that users access to choose their robot and navigate the conference space.
     

So how does this work exactly? You know what they say about pictures…

6 Immediate Use Cases for a Telerobotic Conference
 

The Classic Telerobotic Conference

  • Transform your conference space by creating a miniaturized replica with interactive booths. Users can drive robots up to booths, read panels, and watch videos through their computers. They can also interact with booths by driving on platforms that can activate interactive experiences.


Robot Scavenger Hunt

  • Attendees drive their robots around the conferences, searching for items related to the brand campaign.
  • Robots can be equipped with grabbers (think claw machine games) that they can use to pick objects up.
  • At each item or clue, attendees can listen to audio, watch videos, talk with their fellow attendees, or work on a collaborative art piece together – we’re only limited by the technology.


Various Gamified Experiences

  • Escape Room in the dark – attendees use flashlights on their robots to navigate a dark room or maze to find their way out.
  • Obstacle Course – attendees use their robots to navigate a simple obstacle course of blocks, ramps, and interactive switches.
  • Carnival – attendees go up to different carnival booths and play mini-games and earn tickets they can use to redeem prizes.
  • Laser Tag – robots have laser pointers on them to simulate a game of laser tag in a conference room; robots that are hit can’t move for a few seconds.
  • Computer Vision Camera
    - Attach a computer vision camera to the robot and use machine learning so your robot can identify conference objects in real-time.


Alexa Telerobotic Conference

  • Through their robots, attendees speak to a physical Alexa device in the room, who acts as a conference guide and moderator. Alexa can control various machine aspects of the room as well as change what’s shown on the booth screens. We’re still testing the mic and speaker of the robot – if that works, this is an awesome implementation.


Telerobotic Chat Room

  • A gathering room for attendees to just talk and have discussions, using the conference room as a resource hub as well.
     

These use cases show how telerobotic conferences exist at the intersection of the physical and virtual space, and strive to bring people together in a unique and innovative manner. It’s worth nothing that this doesn’t have to be a separate implementation, but can rather be an addition to your virtual booth if present.

Of course, these use cases of conference examples are just ideas for now, and all work in theory – we just need to test and prototype them and see if we can bring them to life. And all these use cases can be mixed and matched, and these are just a few that we have listed here. If you have a crazy idea for a telerobotic conference, let’s chat! We are happy to brainstorm and work with you to innovate.