Japanese tech startup Motion Lib partners with Tata Consultancy Services to deliver proprietary real haptics technology to healthcare, manufacturing, and other industries worldwide.
Motion Lib, a tech startup in Japan, has developed a proprietary chip for robots that communicates feedback to human users, replicating a “sense of touch,” thus enabling handling of delicate or sensitive items, without causing damage. In a next step towards delivering their real haptics technology across the globe, Motion Lib has partnered with Indian multinational information technology services and consulting company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
Commercialising the technology will allow for remote innovations that will transform the healthcare, construction, manufacturing, maintenance, agriculture, and many other industries. The partnership will work on designing an advanced haptics feedback system with a target to launch in 2024. Additionally, TMS will provide a cloud infrastructure to build a database on the system’s learned skills, tasks, and capabilities.
The technology demonstrates potential in a range of applications, for example allowing doctors to “feel” patient organs during remote surgery, or programming robots to recreate techniques used by skilled craftspeople.
Launched from Keio University, Motion Lib’s tech stands out from conventional haptics systems which have yet to optimise the handling of delicate items. University Professor and founding member of Motion Lib, Kohei Onishi, led the initial real haptics technology project that could replicate tactile sensations, enabling users to move balloons or potato chips with a robotic arm without causing damage.
Motion Lib’s technology uses an algorithm that factors in firmness, resistance, and other measurements, whilst tracking a user’s movements down to the ten-thousandth of a second.
In 2028, the global industrial robotics market anticipates doubling to over US$165 billion. Real haptics technology opens opportunities to improve a users’ capabilities, and would be able to expand job options for people with disabilities.
The startup has been already testing their technology with companies and research institutions in Japan, currently working on plastering walls remotely with general contractor Obayashi. Motion Lib has also developed a PCR testing robot with Yokohama National University, demonstrating the potential for real haptics technology in medical fields, when in person services are unavailable.
Motion Lib and TCS will also work together to create a digital databank, an Internet of Actions, which will store key skills and tactile data, which can be downloaded onto robots to enable task automation in the absence of a human operator.
Featured banner image credit: motionlib.com