GOSTAI delivers on their new navigation interface [video]

Jazz Interface July 2011

In January, we were given the chance to test out the GOSTAI Jazz system from New York in Paris and were slightly underwhelmed with the interface at the time. There were numerous bugs that needed to be worked out and Jean-Christophe (JC) said – wait six months and we will have another interface.

In March, at innorobo, JC showed off the new physical design of the Jazz and let me operate the system on the showroom floor. Again, I noted that the interface had not yet changed. He said “a few more months” suggesting the end of June.

Yesterday, JC sent me a lovely message on Skype which suggested I take a look at the new interface which he had posted on YouTube. And yes, I can say, the interface has certainly improved from the last time.

The salient points of the interface improvements are:

  • The head control is on the image that the pilot sees and they support a “return to center” feature. Gone is the landing strip that used to suggest the path the Jazz would take if the pilot wanted to move forward.
  • The on-view navigation control is still available, where double clicking on a spot on the floor has the Jazz move toward it. This feature existed before, but with the cleaning up of the interface, it looks like it is a marked improvement.
  • The auto-docking feature is a chip off the old block from vGo where the button does not enable unless within a specific range of the docking station.
  • The obstacle warning system is right out of Robodynamics Rocketship interface – along with a number of other interfaces (like Nomadic) which shows good lessons on helping the pilot see what they can not see.
  • The 180 degree feature (turn around) is a nice touch – relieving the user from having to spend time turning around.

There are the standard on-screen controls (arrows) and keyboard controls for movement, but the head is primarily driven by the mouse interface.

I look forward to trying out the Jazz and seeing how it handles nowadays with all of these improvements. And with the lower-cost solutions coming to market, how will GOSTAI compete?

(h/t to JC Baillie at GOSTAI)

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