Forget jumping on a plane and packing your suncream – robots could one day go on holiday for us while we stay at home.
Of course, many of us want to properly lounge on a beach and see the sights, but scientists in Italy have shown how it could be done with a man more than 185 miles away from his avatar.
Instead of battling through tourists in Venice, the robot did the hard work for him while he remained on the other side of the country in Genoa.
Though he didn’t just sit around.
To make it as realistic as possible, he was suited up with loads of sensors, a VR headset and a walking board, which are all mimicked by the iCub3 robot on location.
With it, the user can not only see everything in real-time but also touch and feel.
The robot will even smile whenever you do.
Experts behind it believe that it could one day be used to transport our senses to the metaverse as well.
The 1.25 meter-tall prototype struts around on two legs following your every movement.
It copies smiles, talks, and handshakes too.
So when a guide hugs the avatar in Venice, the operator in Genoa felt it too thanks to haptic feedback technology.
“On the one hand, the recent pandemic taught us that advanced telepresence systems might become necessary very quickly across different fields, like healthcare and logistics,” said research lead Daniele Pucci, from the Italian Institute of Technology.
“On the other hand, avatars may allow people with severe physical disabilities to work and accomplish tasks in the real world via the robotic body.
“This may be an evolution of rehabilitation and prosthetics technologies.
“What I also see in our near future is the application of this system to the so-called metaverse, which is actually based on immersive and remote human avatars.”
In other news, the new Harry Potter video game Hogwarts Legacy will feature some familiar faces despite being set hundreds of years before the majority of characters were even born.
A major Mars mission to find out whether life ever existed on the planet could be delayed by up to six years at best, as Europe scrambles to replace Russian parts.
Internet users have been urged not to use a popular piece of anti-virus software over fears it could be exploited by the Kremlin to spy or launch cyberattacks.
And Instagram could be planning to bring back a way to see what your friends like on the platform.
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