A true emblem of Valais genius, Roboclette is the first machine in the world capable of scraping melted cheese. Starting from a joint idea between Emmanuel Pignat, Sylvain Calinon and Nicolas Fontaine, the idea was made concrete by the development of Roboclette at the Idiap Research Institute. The success of Roboclette has grown thanks to the participation of Eddy Baillifard, Valais/Wallis Promotion and Workshop4.0. This technological gem shows the potential of research in artificial intelligence in Valais – a mix of tradition and innovation.
Unlike normal robots which are programmed to carry out one specific and repetitive task, the Roboclette is capable of learning human gestures needed to execute complex and multiple manipulations, which it reproduces with precision and dexterity. Programmed to intuitively transfer skills from human to machine, the robot, guided by a human hand, learns gestures through observation and can be guided simultaneously and remotely for operations requiring faultless precision.
The technology developed by Idiap can be integrated into the human body (prostheses and exoskeletons), used to relieve professionals of recurring tasks (industrial robots for maintenance, personal assistance and services), but it can also be used to avoid human error (ultra-precise robots controlled at a distance for surgical operations or bomb disposal).