Robot “Joyce” promises advanced computer vision

Montreal-based Immervision introduced a development kit based on a new humanoid robot design called Joyce. The kit is equipped with three ultra-wide angle panomorph cameras for advanced computer vision capabilities.

The dev kit will allow developers to add additional sensors like microphones and gas and temperatures sensors atop the cameras already included that are then connected to software and AI to run on developers’ Windows or Android computers. 

With its 25 employees, Immervision  has an impressive 20 years of experience specializing in wide-angle optics and imaging technology.  The three cameras in the dev kit will give 2 dimensional hemispheric or three dimensional stereoscopic hemispheric or full 360 x 360-degree spherical capture and views of an environment.  Joyce uses data-in-picture capabilities so each video frame can be enriched with data from other sensors, which is designed to provide better context for AI and neural networks, computer vision and SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) algorithms.

Immervision plans to work with a sponsor to create a design competition for developers in universities and tech companies to show what’s possible.   The company also said it plans to stream images live on the internet showing viewers what Joyce sees through her eyes. 

The company sees a variety of applications from enhancing the performance of smart home appliances to improving medical diagnostics through connections to a CT scan.  There is also potential for better optics for autonomous vehicles, better building security, and improved vision through smoke at fires.

“The goal is to upgrade this robot so it can understand its environment,” said Alain Paquin, head of the Joyce project at Immervision in an interview with Fierce Electronics.

Officials said the development kit will be free to students and may be available for rent to others to make it open and affordable. The development competition is expected to start in coming months.   While the processor for Joyce initially will be each developer’s computer, there is potential that a chip developer could incorporate processing directly in a more finished version of the Joyce system, officials added.

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