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Philip English

Robotics Enthusiast, Director, Investor, Trainer, Author and Vlogger

Extend Robotics interview with Dr. Chang Liu

extend Robotics - Philip English

Hi guys Philip English this from philipenglish.com. Welcome to the Robot Optimized Podcast where we talk about everything robotics related. For our next episode, we have Extend Robotics led by CEO Chang Liu who will talk about their leading technology on robotic arms.

Philip English: 
You guys, uh, it’s uh, Philip English. Um, I am a robotics enthusiast, uh, reporting on the latest business and application of robotics. Um, my mission is to get you a robot optimized and, uh, to support industry innovation and infrastructure for the next era. Uh, today, uh, we’ve got Chang, uh, from extend robotics, uh, so extends, um, they build, uh, affordable robotic arms, um, which can be remotely controlled anywhere. And I think their, their, their, their main vision is to sort of extend human capability. So you, haven’t got to be there physically. You, you, you, you can use robots to do the tasks. Um, so hi, Chang. Welcome. Cool. Thank you, sir. Um, so I suppose that the first thing that we want to know is it’s really just like a, um, a quick explanation about yourself and the company. Is it, is it all right if you give us a, uh, a very quick overview?

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Yeah, sure. Uh, so I’m Chang, I’m the CEO of Extend Robotics. Uh, so in one word, uh, in one sentence, uh, an example box we would build, um, highly, scalable, um, extent. Uh, we’ll go highly scalable. Uh, teleoperation robotic long two, and now anyone to, uh, intuitively operates remotely from anywhere. And, uh, I really like myself is, um, I, I kind of started from like a robotic recess back where I was, uh, I did my PhD and, um, uh, actually, uh, on our style, how we can automate, uh, robots. Um, I was also the head of robotics. Uh, so during this process really like, uh, all too many plans and the industry partners, uh, trying to figure out what’s their, what’s their need in terms of using the robot in real world scenarios. I’m kind of getting very excited and recent years seeing this, this, uh, uh, boom, uh, um, role of, uh, being used in real application. Uh, other needs like this, there’s a few writing for us a lot, like, uh, digital digitization automation, the trends, and the enabling technologies that allow like, uh, um, intuitive operations such as the VR, uh, um, the class artist. Um, yeah, but I also see as a base, uh, challenge there, uh, that’s really this, this, uh, this bottleneck of motor robotics that has this complaint of the limitation of operating and complex scenarios, while you actually would require physical operations to certain costs, but that’s beyond the cognitive ability, say, uh, the robots say taking pictures and deliberate, uh, robots. And, uh, really what we want to do to do is back. You find a way, but a new way to, to make complex operations, uh, many relation tasks saves our cost cheaper. Yeah.

Philip English: 
Fantastic. No, that’s, that’s a great overview. Thanks Chang. So we’ll see, like, you’ve come from a, uh, robotic, um, like academic backgrounds, you know, you’ve seen that the, the, the, the, the problems that the industry has is, and now you’ve created oversee, uh, this company and this solution. And I suppose the main problems, I suppose you can go through if you went through health care. And then I, the first thing I think about is, you know, you, you, you, you may have people like in hospital beds or care homes where you can, uh, assist them like remotely, uh, industry has lots and lots of different types of, uh, of applications to do with manufacturing and distribution, um, general services. So restaurants and, and things like that, especially because of COVID right, right. At the moment. So I can see, um, the, the problems that, that, that people will ha would have. And then I suppose, on the agricultural side as well, with the, with the getting more and more difficult to find workers, um, the, the, the, the problem is there that we need to like address, and I suppose the solution for fit for you. I mean, I was reading into, um, you’ve got something called AMA S is that, is that part of the solution?

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Yeah. Yeah. So the AMS, uh, is short for, the amass mechanic assistance system, which is literally a special VR game that connects to a real role to allow people to leverage the intuitiveness and the immersive VR to operate the robots more easily. Um, so we believe that’s, that’s kind of the new way that people could go for it, the robots. Yeah.

Philip English: 
And then, and this is connected to the clouds and that, and obviously that, that’s where the link is. So is that, is that a server on the cloud that, that, that, that all the information lead links to, or how, how, how does it work? How does the communication work?

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Yeah, I mean, the system with the mining is a, uh, it’s a network ready, uh, system. So the robots connects to obviously the network, uh, the AMS software connects to connect to the same network on them. They communicate or over imagine this network in as, as, um, it’s flexible. So it could be wifi could be, uh, 4g, uh, or even the 5g is not, well, I would say a CEO, we are a partnership with a few, um, 5g test that, to actually trial how 5g could improve our service. Uh, Thomas was giving , but, uh, but yeah, but the system with a lot of network ready, so some that couldn’t connect to any, uh, networks. Uh, we also worked on integrating the out of the website is to the, to the system. So, uh, slowly you can actually have a remote server that actually allows you to choose province like, uh, Marshall, uh, uh, like VPNs you to communicate over the internet. So that’s, that’s allowed people to work remotely. So because initially use the BI interface to, to operate the robots or the internet. So you don’t have to be in the same, same location. There’s a little

Philip English: 
Perfect. Yeah. Well, I suppose that, that’s the main thing. Like you want the security around it, so if anyone’s going to be logging onto the robots, you want to make sure that they’re secure. Um, I did go through a few of your videos. So I saw you at the robot restaurant up in Milton keyeds. Um, is there a robot ties here? Uh, sorry, robot taser. I think Mark and Joe I’m like, Oh, that, that at that place. So I’ve been there, it’s quite a, it’s quite a good place to get to if you’re going to the UK. But, um, so as those, the sort of testing is that, is that a good example of, uh, how you would use it?

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Yeah, I would say as a, as a concept demonstration and a technology showcase, uh, our system, uh, we’re still exploring the business, uh, business case behind it, but, uh, but I would say this is a great showcase of what you kind of do as example. And, uh, so we basically did a bit of quick set up in there. Um, so we kind of use it a little bit hard to see what kind of beer, uh, following the quality of that. That was cool. It closed down a lockdown. Uh, actually that was one though only like one day before the, uh, meltdown second lockdown. So we were kind of lucky. Uh, we managed to do it a demonstration. Uh, yeah, but, but it was the, it was quite simple demo, but actually is not designed to do one particular task. Uh, but it’s, it will be, it’s designed to do a general, uh, system floor, uh, random, different costs, um, depending on how people want to use it. So one day it could be useful, um, for bartending one day it could be used or Shanna’s, or, uh, or it could be an independent roles. Um, anything you want to do to fix this flexibility, you, you attend from the AMS. Uh, human interface, that’s literally the role of the human. They still controlling the robots, uh, but in a more intuitive way.

Philip English: 
Yeah. Yeah. And that, I love the flexibility as well. So obviously like you can, you can use it for multiple tasks. And I suppose, especially in, in, in, in, in restaurants, like we’ve seen, um, a few robot projects where they’re looking to automate the, the restaurant, but obviously the robot can’t do everything. So you would need still someone to, to, to log on and do that piece of work. And, and the thing that, that gets my attention it’s maybe even at the home as well. Um, cause we’ll see if you have a, if you’re making a meal at home and he wants some, someone to, to get you to give you a hands, then obviously you can have a service where someone can log on and actually start to start to make the food for you, especially if it’s an elderly person as well. Who’s struggling. Um, so that’s interesting. Yeah. I mean, I was going to ask, um, so what’s the sort of, um, so the main reason is obviously to get these robots out, to make it a lot easier to, to do tasks without having to be there. So like what’s the bigger picture then? Like where do you see your, your yourself going?

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Well, the system is general S uh, remote timely solution was, uh, was a low cost advantage on the intuitive interface. Uh, and what we believe is, is the, the problem is so applicable to a wide range of industries. Uh, so random from, uh, utilities, uh, utility industries where you want to do a special images, uh, maybe like nuclear industry say you want to, uh, decomission, the nuclear, uh, facilities, uh, house care. You want to go onto it, we’ll take care of the patients, uh, where you, uh, even, even there was, there was a highly, um, uh, dangerous virus uh, uh, or yeah, uh, the agriculture industry where you house, um, uh, like the local local, um, what do you call out the shortage of laborers and local areas? So you can utilize, um, the labor that’s outside the SIS local area, uh, quickly, and also like, um, uh, public service, uh, hospitality industry, as you want to, uh, have a remote walking solution for your, um, Walkers, uh, there was also could be usable space even.

Dr. Chang Liu: 
So those are wide renders industries. Uh, what believes the key market would be around utility industry. That’s where we see the most desire from the customer. Uh, but, but, uh, sometimes it needs a more complete solution, not what we tend to, uh, at the moment offering. Uh, yeah, but, uh, that’s what we are looking at us. And, uh, we, we’re also looking at, uh, uh, public service industries that may have a, um, easier cost philosophy would do at the beginning. But, um, but yeah, but we see the shot market is seeing, um, house, uh, they probably had this, um, the, the key market is the utility, the utility industry.

Philip English: 
My sense. Yeah, it makes sense. Like I also saw the video about the, uh, the, uh, the first, um, birthday party sort of like CA COVID birthday pie. So that was very impressive.

Dr. Chang Liu: 
That was the, our early prototype, uh, uh, that was basically that was done, uh, or 50 miles away, apart from the mobile apps to the operator. So I was controlling the robot from Redding and then robot itself is in central London. Uh, that’s what we’re suppose to be miles away. Um, we were able to operate the roll-ups, uh, over the internet, um, that that’s shown us to be quite, quite bombastic. Yeah.

Philip English: 
And then I, I suppose a quick, quick question, I thought, well, if he were operating like 500 miles away, would you have to have to make sure that the internet connection is it’s obviously stable and secure and powerful, you know, so he doesn’t cut, cut, cut out. So he’s, that’s quite a main thing.

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Yeah. Um, I said that the network capability will help us, is it just like a 5g, uh, improves to improve latency and the family than the robustness? Uh, the system can operate, uh, in restricted, uh, by the way, is, um, on being safe, even the, even this network breaks out. So worst case scenario, you lose control and the robot stays there, uh, safely. Um, and, uh, yeah, so, and actually our, um, point like our beta beta streaming pipeline, uh, where we’re also like a patent pending analysis, a lot of information was in a low bottle. Um, so we are walking on a flat and popping off on the streaming algorithms, um, that will basically forms our, uh, one of our USP to achieve people, have such systems, uh, and, uh, in a more realistic scenario, especially within a constrained network. Yeah.

Philip English: 
Right. Perfect. Perfect. And then, um, I suppose the only other question I have was around, um, sort of, uh, you, is the company going through like a, um, like an investment sort of scheme where obviously you, you have investors on board and every step that you go up, um, and then you get more investment and you grow and grow. Is that, is that the path that, that, that, that the company is on?

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Yeah. Uh, we are, uh, yeah, so we are already say start up, uh, we have been raising, uh, investments from, uh, breed books, uh, Wales, we’re still looking for Southern investments, uh, someone interested, uh, with a more detail conversation around that.

Philip English: 
That’s fine. Thanks very much. Well, um, yeah, I think that’s it for my questions. I mean, I suppose the next, um, so sort of steps is, so if we wanted to purchase a unit, I fix a start up, but, uh, can we, can we purchase a unit now or are we still a bit too early?

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Uh, well, yeah, so, uh, our strategy is that, uh, were walking honestly, antiquated solution was hardware software. Uh, our, our goal is to provide, uh, fully integrated solution, um, uh, by the, by the beginning of, uh, 2022, yeah. Uh, we are currently, uh, just, just all just started to offer the software alone solutions. So we’re demonstrating the way we help, how people could, uh, in to phase out softball with a third party, lower arm. Uh, so someone we want any have a, um, and also one arm, uh, they got come to us and a wait time we can discuss the way we could just say is out so far, which would have robot arm, uh, the way our software architecture is it’s a loss interface, robotic operating system. So anyone arm that support robotic operating system kind of actually, uh, integrate with our AMS software very easily. Um, yeah, so we also have not now, and, uh, we’re actually really looking forward to, um, everyone who has an interest on though we can, uh, we can walk out with solutions together, or we can to stop, uh, have a trial of our current system.

Philip English: 
Right. And then, and then the, the, the, the actual hardware, is that a 3d , a 3d printed piece, or is that something that you’re going to get mass manufactured?

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Yeah, colored form five is 3d printed, uh, robot arms. Uh, we have a lot of experience all in the, how to we, uh, make sure to business 3d prints, uh, Makes salary requirements. Um, we are, we optimizing particular small elements of, um, the, the system to make sure the core, the core functionality, um, is not compromised. So it will be optimized as 3d printing, uh, solutions, arms. Um, yeah.

Philip English: 
Okay, perfect. Perfect. Okay. Yeah, no, I think that’s been a great, like overview Chang, so like many thanks fit fee for your time. I mean, if people want to get in contact with you, like what’s the best way,

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Uh, based onto our website for, uh, and www dot extend robotics dot com, um, uh, maybe a little, a little messages, or you can just simply, you know, me, uh, chang.liu@extendrobotics.com. Yeah.

Philip English: 
Right. Perfect. Thanks Chang. And what we’ll do is we’ll put all the links, uh, in the, in, in, in the bottom of the interview as well, so. Perfect. Cool. Well, thanks Chang. Thanks for your time today. It’s very much appreciate it. Thank you, sir.

Dr. Chang Liu: 
Okay, cool. Awesome. Take care. Bye-bye.

Robot Optimised Podcast #2 – Dr. Chang Liu of Extend Robotics

Extend robotics: https://www.extendrobotics.com/

Philip English: https://philipenglish.com/

Sponsor: Robot Center : http://www.robotcenter.co.uk

Youtube:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de2B3nS5VBg&ab_channel=PhilipEnglish

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