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Shadow Robots Company, experts at grasping and manipulation for robotic hands announced that they are joining a new space avatar program named AVATAR X. This program is led by ANA HOLDINGS INC. (ANA HD) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

AVATAR X aims to accelerate the integration of technologies such as robotics, haptics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to enable humans to remotely build camps on the Moon, support long-term space missions, and further explore space from Earth. In order to make this possible, Shadow will work closely with the programme’s partners, leveraging its unique teleoperation system that it has already developed and that is also available to purchase.

AVATAR X is all set to be launched as a multi-phase programme. It aims to revolutionize space development and make living on the Moon, Mars and beyond, a reality.

What will AVATAR X program include?

AVATAR X program will comprise of clever elements including Shadow’s Dexterous Hand, which can be controlled by a CyberGlove worn by the operator. This hand will be attached to a UR10 robot arm controllable by a PhaseSpace motion capture tool worn on the operator’s wrist.

Both the CyberGlove and Motion Capture wrist tool have mapping capability so that the Dexterous Hand and the robot arm can mimic an operator’s movements.

The new system allows remote control of robotic technologies while providing distance and safety. Furthermore, Shadow uses an open source platform providing full access to the code to help users develop the software for their own specific needs.

Shadow’s Managing Director, Rich Walker says “We’re really excited to be working with ANA HD and JAXA on the AVATAR X programme and it gives us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how our robotics technology can be leveraged for avatar or teleoperation scenarios away from UK soil, deep into space. We want everyone to feel involved at such a transformative time in teleoperation capabilities and encourage all those interested to enter the AVATAR XPRIZE competition.”

To know more about AVATAR X in detail, visit ANA Group’s press release.

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