A true emblem of Valais genius, the Roboclette is the first machine in the world capable of scraping melted cheese. Born from a collaboration between Idiap, Nicolas Fontaine and Eddy Baillifard, this technological gem shows the growing potential of research into 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. Recently presented at CES in Las Vegas, the Roboclette is an illustration of the growing influence of Valais innovation on the international scientific stage.
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).