Investors: Press Release
GeckoSystems Updates Mobile Robot Solutions Website
CONYERS, GA--(Marketwire - Jun 8, 2011) - GeckoSystems Intl. Corp, a dynamic leader in the emerging mobile robotics industry revolutionizing their development and usage with "Mobile Robot Solutions for Safety, Security and Service™," (
"After we moved to our new R&D facility, we resumed our focus on sales and marketing, i.e. we updated our website. To that end we have created a cleaner, less cluttered look, smoother navigation, more pictures, updated charts and added new, insightful discussions on our elder care robot trials, the GeckoImager™, the GeckoWheelchair™ Upgrade kit, the AscBot™, the ChairBot™, etc." commented Martin Spencer, President/CEO, GeckoSystems Intl. Corp.
Some highlights from those updates are:
"I am pleased to report on a number of insights regarding my involvement with the in home evaluation trials of the GeckoSystems's CareBot™. First, I was concerned that my elderly mother would be a little frightened by the robot and not want it in her room, but that is not the case. She likes it and seems pleased to have this "companion" in close proximity. When it speaks to her she answers back and is delighted at having a conversation with the robot!
"Second, the robot has been able to reassure her and make her feel more comfortable. At times she is disoriented and often thinks she is not in her home. With the upgraded GeckoScheduler and GeckoChat™, I am now able to have the CareBot remind her every hour that indeed she is at home. She responds with much relief stating that she thought she was 'far, far away.'
"Third, she takes in what the CareBot says to her as being authoritative. When I tell her it is time for her shower she does not want to do it and tries to procrastinate. When the robot tells her it is time for her shower, she gets ready. I never thought a robot would have more influence over my mother than I do! All three of these insights have been surprising and helpful to me," stated the caregiver.
GeckoSystems is protecting the privacy of its elder care robot trials' participants with a sincere commitment to maintain their identities confidential.
"While we have made, and expect to continue to make, numerous tuning adjustments to the CareBot, none of them have required significant changes in our suite of software and hardware technologies. These incremental changes have not diminished the fundamental robustness of our mobile robot solutions, nor will these changes impact our ability to manufacture these new home appliances in the high volumes needed due to our perception of pent up demand in family care -- especially elder care.
"We are learning that valued family behaviors can be readily expressed to the care receiver using a CareBot due to the robustness of its functionality. We continue to look forward to further exploration and understanding of the social interaction between the family, the CareBot, and the care receiver. There seems to be a very important positive -- and unforeseen by some parties -- impact of valued family behaviors for all members in using a CareBot to communicate their thoughts and feelings to their beloved family members," commented Spencer.
The elderly frequently endure loneliness and/or loss of independence when living in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities. This new type of remote medical monitoring system, a CareBot, will postpone, if not eliminate that trauma to them. Their families can now better manage the difficult decisions regarding the independence they allow their now dependent parent while minimizing the risk the adult care giver is willing to assume for a prudent level of independence for their now reliant parent.
GeckoSystems' new GeckoImager uses sensor fusion interpolated with structured light machine vision ("depth camera") data from the Kinect sensor with sonar range finding data, complimented by GeckoOrient's™ solid-state compass, accelerometer, and odometry sensor fusion. This provides their automatic, self-navigation AI software, GeckoNav™, with sufficient and timely data to achieve actionable situation awareness resulting in a very safe, loose crowd level of mobile robot autonomy that is "collision proof."
This unedited video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn93BS44Das , shows a GeckoSystems' CareBot™, equipped with a pair of Microsoft Kinect sensors, navigating through a narrow passageway cluttered with various obstacles. This represents the worst case for in-home and/or commercial navigation. GeckoSystems recently announced GeckoImager™ incorporates multiple Kinects for a sufficient field of view (FOV) to be safe, collision proof, and capable of automatic self-navigation.
"As demonstrated in the video, the CareBot's automatic self-navigation is accomplished using three high level GeckoSystems' AI savants: GeckoImager, GeckoNav and GeckoSuper. The three savants are spread over two low cost, low power, off-the-shelf dual core Intel Atom motherboards running at 1.66 GHz located on the robot. The computer running GeckoImager is running Ubuntu Linux 10.10 while the computer running GeckoNav and GeckoSuper is running Microsoft Windows XP. Two low-level GeckoSavants, GeckoOrient™ and GeckoMotorController™ run on their robot controller board, the GeckoSPIO. All of the capabilities depicted in this video are running on board on this prototype mobile service robot. I am very pleased to be part of the engineering and programming team that achieved this demonstrable accomplishment," stated O'Connor.
This fundamental technological approach has many applications in mobile service robots. Heretofore, cost, size and complexity of set up has been prohibitive. Microsoft's recent contribution to the advancement of low cost, truly utilitarian personal robots advances their founder's timeline notably and takes their new product, the Kinect, far beyond only the living room.
Service robots can be used to provide domestic aid for the elderly and disabled, serving various functions ranging from cleaning to entertainment to remote monitoring. The high cost of labor in developed countries and the increasing need for assisted living has led to the development of the service robotics market. As service robots are in greater proximity to humans, the technology involves more safety concerns over human-machine interaction. However, developments in the manufacture of intelligent and safer robots by GeckoSystems address the issues of safety, manipulation, and sensing. Thus, GeckoSystems is well prepared for the day when every home will have a robot.
A test drive in a house was not done as the first demo since most homes are not as cluttered as the "gauntlet alley" depicted. An actual home video, using the prior CompoundedSensorArray™ is at: http://www.geckosystems.com/
The design strategy for incorporating the Kinect units into the CareBot overall shroud design is to keep integration costs and manufacturing costs at a minimum. Just as the Ford Model A was better than that of the Model T, nonetheless several millions of Model T's were sold due to the compelling value proposition of selling for the same money as a motorcycle, but capable of carrying up to four people in a near weatherproof transport.
GeckoSystems has several breakthrough technologies -- not just the GeckoImager -- in concert with the Kinect, and all the other necessary mobile robot solutions, such as their GeckoSavants, to have a complete, cost effective and multifunctional product. Due to the robustness of GeckoSystems' biological hierarchal architecture, GeckoNav, being "sensor loving," and the recent invention of GeckoImager, the company has strengthened its "first mover" position in this emerging trillion-dollar industry.
Further, scanning laser range finders provide a similar level of data flood as does the Kinect. Robot experimenters have used scanning laser range finders for nearly ten years. At a cost of $2,500 to $50,000 each they are prohibitive. The PrimeSense Kinect solution is a watershed event due to its low cost and extremely robust functionality. It is consumer pricing for an industrial solution that has been investigated and improved for over 30 years.
GeckoWheelchair Upgrade Kit (GWK001)-
"The 'collision proof' retrofit kit we are presently developing may be added to most joystick operated electric wheelchairs. The wheelchair occupant would simply move the joystick in the direction they wish to go and GeckoNav -- in concert with multiple GeckoSavants™ -- would automatically seek that desired direction while avoiding any and all obstacles whether stationary or moving. We expect the cost to the end user, completely installed, to be only a few thousand dollars for this heightened level of safety for not only the occupant of the wheelchair, but also those persons around them," stated Spencer.
GeckoSystems' recently announced GeckoImager uses sensor fusion incorporating Microsoft's Kinect's structured light machine vision capability merged with sonar range finders to compliment their GeckoOrient's™ solid-state compass, accelerometer, and odometry sensor fusion. This provides their automatic, self-navigation AI software, GeckoNav™, with sufficient and timely data to achieve actionable situation awareness and the resulting very safe loose crowd level of autonomy to be "collision proof."
Due to the extraordinary small size of Microsoft's Kinect sensor device, low power, high level of utility, and low cost; it is ideal for easy and appropriate placement on many, if not most, electric wheelchairs. The Kinect's field of view (FOV) is such that two are needed to get a wide enough FOV to provide sufficient peripheral vision to see incoming, moving obstacles, etc.
The GWK001 leverages core technologies GeckoSystems has developed for its flagship product, the CareBot™, combined with recent advances in sensor technology, to create a cost effective upgrade kit for wheelchair obstacle avoidance. The recent creation of GeckoImager and its ability to fuse multiple stationary sensors to achieve the level of situational awareness required for navigation has allowed GeckoSystems to pursue this new application.
The "collision proof" wheelchair robotic upgrade kit (GWK001), recently sold to a leading Japanese wheelchair manufacturer, may be added to most joystick operated electric wheelchairs. The wheelchair occupant would simply move the joystick in the direction they wish to go. Then GeckoNav -- in concert with multiple GeckoSavants™ managed by the GeckoSuper™ -- would automatically seek the desired direction while avoiding any and all stationary or moving obstacles. The cost to the end user, completely installed, is only a few thousand dollars for this heightened level of safety for not only the occupant of the wheelchair, but also those persons around them.
GeckoSystems' successful adaptation of Microsoft's Kinect with the GeckoImager enables more markets to be addressed in addition to wheelchairs, such as retail. The strategic business need addressed by GeckoSystems' AscBot is to enhance the in store shopper's experience to strategically position the retailer as better, different than their competitors. This will enable them to enjoy margins greater than their competitors while maintaining desired market share. This type of strategic marketing positioning is necessary to increase gross sales while reducing overall operational costs to increase net profits. Simultaneously, while increasing sales with in store assistance and product promotions, the AscBot's mobile and intelligent video surveillance systems would dramatically reduce shrinkage due to internal and external theft. Simply stated, GeckoSystems AscBot would "inform and observe™" in retail stores.
The development of the AscBot will make extensive use of existing GeckoSystems technologies originally developed for the CareBot. While the AscBot will require a superset of the existing GeckoSystems capabilities, the additional functions required by the AscBot are currently available in off-the-shelf products that can be easily integrated into the existing GeckoSavant™ architecture.
GeckoSystems' successful adaptation of Microsoft's Kinect with the GeckoImager enables more markets to be addressed in addition to retail stores, such as healthcare cost reduction with the recently announced ChairBot™.
Care for infirm, chronically ill, and frail individuals with various potentially life threatening episodes is a significant problem throughout the world. The national and international shortage of qualified doctors, nurses and other appropriate health care professionals is well documented in numerous publications and research studies. Tech enabling caregivers is a 21st century solution to this century old problem of cost effective family and societal healthcare.
GeckoSystems has been developing eldercare capable personal robots, the CareBot, for nearly 14 years. Recently they completed their first year of in home trials with many insightful and unexpected benefits to not only the care receiver, but also the extended care giving family. Given this experience, they believe that an eldercare capable robotic wheelchair upgrade could cost effectively assist those infirm family members that are not typically able to walk about freely, needing routine vital sign monitoring and immediate notification of appropriate care givers when vital sign limits are triggered. This group represents family members requiring nearly constant monitoring.
This robotic wheelchair, or ChairBot, would consist of a wheelchair equipped with several artificial intelligence systems (GeckoSavants) developed for the CareBot. In concert these systems enable the occupant of the chair to benefit from automatic collision avoidance and room-to-room transitions. GeckoChat™ would provide verbal interaction for control of the wheelchair and annunciate medication and other timely reminders. The GeckoScheduler™ would time and commence the prompting of the various reminders for medication and/or vital sign measurements such as blood pressure, pulse rate, blood sugar and/or oxygenation level, EKG monitoring, etc. mounted on the wheelchair. The GeckoSuper™ would be programmed by the care givers such that appropriate alarms would trigger should any pre-set vital sign parameters be exceeded and pre-designated parties promptly notified by pager, email, and/or cell phone. In nursing homes or assisted living facilities each ChairBot would be wirelessly networked into the residence's IS system for continuous monitoring of each individual's vital signs as they went about their daily routines.
While the cost of the ChairBot would be greater than that of a CareBot, the cost benefit ratio would be even more extraordinary since semi-professional and professional care givers would no longer be required to be in near constant physical proximity of the care receiver. Hence one caregiver could provide complete monitoring of multiple patients and yet be immediately notified if any of their vital signs exceeded pre-established bounds.
"We are very pleased with our recently updated website. The new discussions on our website cover our continuing product development of the CareBot, the upgrading of wheelchairs to be "collision proof," and our new AscBot and ChairBot product concepts with significant potential and proximate markets. We continue as a world leader in our "mobile robot solutions for safety, security, and service" and look forward to providing our nearly 1400 shareholders the ROI they deserve for their vision and confidence in GeckoSystems," concluded Spencer.
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