Colin's Conference Call Comments About Visual SLAM
With the launch of our remote presence robots, we’ve begun talking more about the importance of robot navigation and our leadership role in the space. After more than a decade of research, we are fielding robots with the capability of building maps and using them to precisely move about environments in which they operate. This capability is creating opportunities for robots to perform more valuable work, more efficiently.
Today, the enabling technology Simultaneous Localization and Mapping or SLAM is costly as it requires lasers and significant computation, though it works extremely well and safely as evidenced by RP-VITA’s FDA approval. Soon, a new generation of SLAM, visual SLAM, based on replacing lasers with low cost cameras will usher in a new generation of navigation robots. iRobot is a pioneer in vSLAM, holding exclusive access to critical technology, including many of the earlier filed patents in the technology, which positions us extremely well as the industry accelerates. It is our intent to continue to invest in this critical technology and the economic opportunities it unlocks."
Don't forget Colin's comments with the acquisition of Evolution Robotics in 2012: "Evolution Robotics' products will expand our automated floor care offerings while its technology and intellectual property will bring visual navigation and simultaneous localization and mapping, among other technologies, which could be deployed in future iRobot products". The acquisition was about a whole lot more than Mints. Visual SLAM is a game-changer. The benefits of iRobot's ownership of key vSlam patents, and also the hiring of Paolo Pirjanian and his team from Evolution Robotics that came with the acquisition, are about to start really paying off!