When Marc Gyongyosi was 15, he started working on connecting the physical world to the digital world. Gyongyosi was excited about flight, so, like any teenager, he built a 737-flight simulator, connecting hardware interface to software.
“This was the first time I saw potential from the entertainment aspect of connecting digital to the physical world,” said Gyongyosi, CEO and founder of Intelligent Flying Machines, during a session at the recent Sensors Midwest Expo in Rosemont, IL. “My parents didn’t give me a cent. I sold the software that made this work to people on the internet in small self-kits. I would help people with what electronics they should buy, and sell kits for these flight simulators.”
From this, Gyongyosi learned a very important, practical lesson: customized solutions don’t scale.
Soon after, he came to America.
“The first thing I did was Magic Leap, layering the real world with a magical world,” said Gyongyosi. “Then there was Google Glass, and we set up this project with the Art Institute of Chicago.”
Here, he helped create a headset that would register a user’s location at an art museum, and overlay the painting they were observing with UV or a different version of that painting. Users could see preliminary sketches of the painting consisting of pencil or grid marks, or a different version the painter had in mind. For instance, if the painter had painted a boat in the picture, but took it out in the final piece, users could see the boat prior to it taken out.
Unfortunately, Gyongyosi said enabling technologies need to be mature to work at scale, and Google Glass was not mature enough to be useful for a real application. Additionally, it go hot, and would burn the wearer’s skin, he said. The battery lifetime also only lasted a few minutes long.
“Because the technology wasn’t mature enough, the user’s desire to reuse it never increased overtime,” said Gyongyosi. “If you think about Facebook, you want to use it more and more…the model is that you get addicted overtime. This wasn’t the case with Google Glass. It was cool to try, but most didn’t want to buy it. It had several interesting insights, though.”
Next on Gyongyosi’s journey was BMW robotics. He said when you think of automotive manufacturing, ultimately, building a car is a very involved process that’s done with big, heavy robotic machines. These often heavy and dangerous robots don’t stop if a human is in the way.
This dangerous way of swinging cars through the air with robots who had no perception of a human made him wonder, ‘What if instead of moving the car through the plant, you moved tools through the plant?’
A study pertaining to the video below also triggered his interest in making robots intrinsically safer.
Follow along for Part 2, where Gyongyosi applies his research to develop safer forklifts.
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping, Robotics • robotic grippers • end effectors