Sonys Face to Avatar system uses autonomous blimp

Sony are  creating the first real world drone avatar.

“We want cloud interface, not cloud computing,” said Hiroaki Tobita, a researcher at the Sony Computer Laboratory.

That sentence didn’t make much sense. It seemed like the byproduct of a language barrier.

Then a giant, cloud-like robot blimp floated by, sporting video of a human face, and that pronouncement became much clearer.

Sony’s Face to Avatar system, premiering here at the SIGGRAPH interactive technology conference, combines UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and telepresence technology to create the first real-world drone avatar. Unlike the stationary video conferencing enabled by smartphones or webcams, the Face to Avatar blimp moves, a change to video communications that stands to drastically deepen the link between the digital and the physical world.

“The main function is similar to Skype, but the blimp is an avatar,” Tobita told InnovationNewsDaily.