Investors: Press Release
GeckoSystems Continues Mobile Robot Technology Transfer
With Premier Japanese Robot Company, ZMP
GeckoSystems Intl. Corp. (PINKSHEETS: GOSY) (http://www.geckosystems.com/) -- announced today their progress regarding the Company's partnership with ZMP Inc. of Japan. GeckoSystems is a dynamic leader in the emerging mobile robotics industry revolutionizing their development and usage with "Mobile Robot Solutions for Safety, Security and Service™."
In November of 2011 GeckoSystems International Corp. (PINKSHEETS: GOSY) and ZMP of Japan announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and their intent to collaborate on mobile robotics projects.
The two companies share a common goal: "to assist people in living a safe and comfortable life, focusing on the elderly and disabled."
Last month, GeckoSystems sent their GeckoMotorController™ software source code to ZMP engineers for evaluation. This code was migrated from the CareBot/BaseBot platform to the Imasen wheelchair last year demonstrating the economic feasibility of the world's first commercially viable robotic "collision proof" wheelchair. Since receiving this code ZMP has begun examining suitable projects to lead off the partnership.
GeckoSystems' engineers have now ruggedized the electronics and cabling of a new depth camera enabled BaseBot™ prototype to be shipped to ZMP in Japan. ZMP has an outstanding record of innovation and co-operation within the robotics community. ZMP was born out of the Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project, which was sponsored by the Japanese government to push technology forward. ZMP collaborates regularly with Japanese universities and technological institutions and provides robotic teaching tools
The new BaseBot prototype will demonstrate how multiple, layered GeckoSavants achieve point-to-point navigation while avoiding dynamic or static obstacles in the path of the BaseBot. This is a very important and beneficial behavior. It can safely be used to augment traditional navigation systems and enables mobile robots to engage in tasks like errand running and patrolling efficiently thus rendering mapping, line following, or remote operator control unnecessary.
In this latest configuration the Kinect depth cameras used in the prototype were changed from a vertical orientation to a horizontal one. GeckoImager™ was successfully adapted to the new operating parameters, eliminating the "rabbit ear" appearance of the initial CareBot™ prototype. This new configuration will make it easier to design more esthetically appealing products.
GeckoSystems is also researching customized optical systems and motor designs to replace some off the shelf components used in the wheelchair and BaseBot prototypes. Custom software in the depth cameras will enhance the performance of GeckoImager and lower manufacturing costs. A custom motor design will increase battery life of finished products by fully utilizing the "constant energy" capabilities of the GeckoMotorController.
"GeckoSystems is pleased that its IP rights to the technologies used in projects developed in cooperation with ZMP will be under the supervision of ZMP's associates, Hirayama & Company, Patent, Design & Trademark Attorneys. We continue to expect technology licensing revenues to precede sales of actual products for the ROI our stockholders expect and deserve," observed R. Martin Spencer, President/CEO, GeckoSystems Intl. Corp.
For additional information about ZMP see our website: About ZMP
Names of other ZMP partners that are more familiar to US investors include NEC Electronics, Hewlett-Packard, Renesas Electronics, JVC, Kenwood, and Microsoft.
About GeckoSystems Intl. Corp.:
GeckoSystems has been developing innovative robotic technology for over fourteen years. It is CEO Martin Spencer's dream to make people's lives better through robotic technology.
Although the company's primary focus has been an elder care robot, the CareBot™, AI (artificial intelligence) software technology developed for this project is being marketed internationally. The company believes many devices in use today can be improved through the use of its AI navigation software system. The company expects their "collision proof" wheelchair and an upgrade for existing wheelchairs will be on the market sometime in 2012.
The company has successfully completed Alpha trials of its CareBot personal assistance robot for the elderly. It was tested in home care settings and received enthusiastic support from both caregivers and care receivers. The company believes that the CareBot will increase the safety and well being of its elderly charges while decreasing stress on the caregiver and the family.
GeckoSystems is preparing for Beta testing of the CareBot prior to full-scale production and marketing. The CareBot has recently incorporated Microsoft Kinect motion sensors that will result in a significant cost reduction.
Above, the CareBot demonstrates static and dynamic obstacle avoidance as it backs in and out of a narrow and cluttered alley. Unlike most of the developmental stage robots backed by major corporations, there is no joystick control or programmed path. GeckoNav™ uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create three low levels of obstacle avoidance: reactive, proactive, and contemplative. Subsumptive AI behavior enables the CareBot to reach its target destination after engaging in obstacle avoidance. GeckoSystems plans to provide robotic products for many consumer and commercial applications including security, defense and healthcare.
About the CareBot™:
The CareBot has proven to be ideal for the Personal Assistance market (care for children, chronically ill, and the elderly) which has been chronicled in articles from Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/adventures-in-old-age/200906/the-robots-have-dawned-meet-the-carebot) and subject-related blogs (http://cgmasi.com/eyeontechnology/2009/06/personal-robots-to-monitor-elderly-vital-signs.html). In this market, mobile service robots (MSRs) serve as a cost effective alternative to nursing assistance or assistance living residency. The estimated annual savings total near the tens of thousands of dollars.
The CareBot has multiple layers of safety precautions. These safeguards are enabled three ways: mechanical, electronic, and using AI computer software.
The robot is very stable and difficult to tip over since nearly seventy percent of its weight is less than eight inches above the floor and sits low between large, ten-inch diameter wheels. The wheels are wide and soft enough such that if the robot did go over a child's arm, for example, it would not break the skin or any bones.
Multiple layers of sensors are fused to provide a safety umbrella to enable actionable situational awareness. Going outward from the center of the CareBot is the GeckoTactileShroud™, which detects where on its shroud it has been bumped by people or animals. The GeckoImager™ detects virtually everything in the front and to the sides of this fully autonomous mobile robot up to sixty inches. Obstacles more distant are detected by twin ultrasonic rangefinders.
The advanced AI navigation software, GeckoNav™, takes in the hundreds of sensor readings per second and using its high level situational awareness, consistently avoids unforeseen static and/or dynamic obstacles for safe movements.
Like an automobile, the CareBot is made from steel, aluminum, plastic and electronics, but with up to 20 times the amount of software running. It has an aluminum frame, plastic shroud, two independently driven wheels, multiple sensor systems, microprocessors and several onboard computers connected by a local area network (LAN). The microprocessors directly interact with the sensor systems and transmit data to the onboard computers.
The onboard computers each run independent, highly specialized cooperative/subsumptive artificial intelligence (AI) software programs, GeckoSavants, which interact to complete tasks in a timely, intelligent and common sense manner. GeckoSuper™, GeckoNav™, GeckoChat™, GeckoScheduler™ and GeckoTrak™ are primary, high level GeckoSavants. GeckoNav is responsible for maneuvering, avoiding dynamic and/or static obstacles, seeking waypoints and patrolling.
GeckoChat is responsible for interaction with the care-receiver such as answering questions, assisting with daily routines and reminders, and responding to other verbal commands. GeckoTrak, which is mostly transparent to the user, enables the CareBot to maintain proximity to the care-receiver using sensor fusion. The CareBot is a new type of Internet appliance, a personal assistant life support robot, which is accessible for remote video/audio monitoring and telepresence.
At the time of founding, over 14 years ago, GeckoSystems did extensive primary market research to determine the demographic profile of the early adopters of the then proposed product line. Subsequent to, and based on that original market research, they have assembled numerous focus groups to evaluate the fit of the CareBot™ personal robot into the participant's lives and their expected usage. The Company has also frequently employed the Delphi market research methodology by contacting and interviewing senior executives, practitioners and researchers knowledgeable in the area of elder care. Using this factual basis of internally performed primary and secondary market research, and third-party research is the statistical substance for the Company's sales forecasts.
Not surprisingly, the scientific statistical analysis applied revealed that elderly over 65 living alone in metropolitan areas with broadband Internet available and sufficient household incomes to support the increased costs were identified as those most likely to adopt initially. Due to the high cost of assisted living, nursing homes, etc. the payback for a CareBot is expected to be only seven to nine months while keeping elderly care receivers independent, in their own long time homes, and living longer due to the comfort and safety of more frequent attention from their loved ones.
For Cost Effective, Utilitarian, Multitasking Eldercare Personal Robots:
Estimated Market Penetrations and Projected Sales:
Source: U.S. Census Bureau; GeckoSystems
The Company expects these sales despite -- and perhaps because of -- the present recession due to pent up demand for significant cost reduction in eldercare expenses. The foregoing forecasts do not include sales in non-metropolitan areas; elderly couples over 65 (only elderly living alone are in these forecasts); those chronically ill -- regardless of age -- or elderly living with their adult children.
The Company's "mobile robot solutions for safety, security and service" are appropriate not only for the consumer, but also professional healthcare, commercial security and defense markets. Professional healthcare require cost effective, timely errand running, portable telemedicine, etc. Homeland Security requires cost effective mobile robots to patrol and monitor public venues for weapons and WMD detection. Military users desire the elimination of the "man in the loop" to enable unmanned ground and air vehicles to not require constant human control and/or intervention.
GeckoSystems stock is quoted in the U.S. over-the-counter (OTC) markets, on the Pink OTC Current Information tier, under the ticker symbol GOSY.
Main number: 1-866-CAREBOT (227-3268)
International: +1 678-413-9236
Fax: +1 678-413-9247
Source: GeckoSystems Intl. Corp.
Statements regarding financial matters in this press release other than historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company intends that such statements about the Company's future expectations, including future revenues and earnings, technology efficacy and all other forward-looking statements be subject to the Safe Harbors created thereby. The Company is a development stage firm that continues to be dependent upon outside capital to sustain its existence. Since these statements (future operational results and sales) involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, the Company's actual results may differ materially from expected results.
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