SOURCE: GeckoSystems Intl. Corp.

October 20, 2010 00:05 ET

GeckoSystems Improves Its Mobile Robot Sensor Fusion Technology

CONYERS, GA--(Marketwire - October 20, 2010) -  GeckoSystems Intl. Corp. (PINKSHEETS: GCKO) announced today that they have improved the performance of their proprietary machine vision system, the CompoundedSensorArray™, while lowering its manufacturing costs. GeckoSystems is a dynamic leader in the emerging mobile robotics industry revolutionizing their development and usage with "Mobile Robot Solutions for Safety, Security and Service™."

"Traditional video centric machine vision systems are very expensive in dollars, power consumed, and time required to provide new data. Taking a clue from compound insect eyes in nature, we invented the CompoundedSensorArray which 'creates' two hundred and fifty facets by scanning ten infrared range (IR) finders over twenty-five positions in approximately 1.5 seconds. We fuse this 180 degree Field of View (FOV) with fixed position, long range sonar and IR range finders to give greater range and reliability to our sensor fused, machine vision system for locating stationary and/or dynamic obstacles quickly and at low dollar cost," observed Martin Spencer, President/CEO, GeckoSystems.

The CSA machine vision system also includes a high speed, precision stepping motor, its control electronics, and the software to correctly assemble the CSA's distance ranging data into an abstracted image for use by their automatic, self-navigation software, GeckoNav™.

"The amount of data that the CompoundSensorArray provides is far greater then what can reasonably be collected with fixed sensors and at a much lower cost than scanning laser range finding systems frequently used," stated Kevin O'Connor, Sr. EE Roboticist, Research and Development, GeckoSystems.

"This low cost CSA sensor fusion system not only provides timely and actionable situation awareness information sufficient for our AI navigation software, GeckoNav, but also satisfies these requirements at a lower cost, in both dollars and power.

"Over the past months we have distributed numerous press releases discussing our proprietary hardware and software technologies, such as GeckoMotorController™, the CompoundedSensorArray™, GeckoOrient™, GeckoTactile™, GeckoSPIO™, GeckoNav™, GeckoChat™, GeckoScheduler™, GeckoSuper™, etc. Each of our mobile robot solutions has one or more probable patents for them. We expect to raise many barriers to entry -- sustainable competitive advantages -- by allocating budget for this patent work as we become better funded. Each patent costs approximately $25,000 and takes one to three years to effectuate. Provisional patents cost much less, but require application for formal patenting within one year of obtaining the provisional patent.

"Further, there seems to be some incomplete analyses of our financials. While we have incurred over $7,442,114 in losses since our founding over thirteen years ago, only $1,273,256 (or $97,943 average per year) has been cash from the proceeds of the issuance of common stock. All common stock, per SEC regulations, has been issued 'legended' under Rule 144 requirements. Hence, $6,168,858 was paid for services rendered to many engineers, programmers, consultants, etc. with restricted GCKO shares for services rendered. Obviously, we have not had budget to date to secure the patents we will seek. Nonetheless, we have held our many inventions Company Confidential and still have those patent opportunities available to us.

"While we regret we do not presently have the plethora of patents in place that we feel confident we have available to us, as a casual observer can see, we have demonstrably maximized the efficient utilization of all financial resources available to us. Some say we truly 'beat pennies into battleships' given our suite of sufficient mobile robot solutions and 'first mover' opportunity in this emerging trillion dollar marketplace.

"We are truly grateful to all of those technologists and business consultants that have assisted GeckoSystems for these many years and taken restricted GCKO stock for their hard work and services rendered. We are hopeful they will be rewarded greater than their expectations for their creativity and tenacity in solving engineering and software challenges that have baffled the majority of our competitors and many very prestigious research universities in the U.S. and abroad.

"Our ongoing world's first in home elder care robot trials have garnered many inquiries for us regarding our business model, technologies available for licensing, and interest in joint domestic and international ventures. We continue to expect technology-licensing revenues to precede revenues from product manufacturing and sales and have two or three in active discussions. This augurs well for increased ROI and shareholder value for our nearly 1400 investors," summarized Spencer.

About GeckoSystems International Corporation:

About the CareBot:

Like an automobile, mobile robots are made from steel, aluminum, plastic, and electronics, but with ten to twenty times the amount of software running. The CareBot has an aluminum frame, plastic shroud, two independently driven wheels, multiple sensor systems, microprocessors and several onboard computers connected in a local area network (LAN). The microprocessors directly interact with the sensor systems and transmit data to the onboard computers. The onboard computers each run independent, highly specialized cooperative/subsumptive artificial intelligence (AI) software programs, GeckoSavants, which interact to complete tasks in a timely, intelligent and common sense manner. GeckoSuper, GeckoNav, GeckoChat, GeckoScheduler and GeckoTrak are primary, high level GeckoSavants. GeckoNav is responsible for maneuvering, avoiding dynamic and/or static obstacles, seeking waypoints and patrolling. GeckoChat is responsible for interaction with the care-receiver such as answering questions, assisting with daily routines and reminders, and responding to other verbal commands. GeckoTrak, which is mostly transparent to the user, enables the CareBot to maintain proximity to the care-receiver using sensor fusion. The CareBot is a new type of Internet appliance, a personal assistant robot, that is accessible for remote video/audio monitoring and telepresence.

About the Company:

Since 1997, GeckoSystems has developed a comprehensive, coherent, and sufficient suite of hardware and software inventions to enable a new type of home appliance (a personal robot) the CareBot, to be created for the mass consumer marketplace. The suite of primary inventions includes: GeckoNav, GeckoChat and GeckoTrak.

The primary market for this product is the family for use in eldercare, care for the chronically ill, and childcare. The primary distribution channel for this new home appliance is the thousands of independent personal computer retailers in the U.S. The manufacturing infrastructure for this new product category of mobile service robots is essentially the same as the personal computer industry. Several outside contract manufacturers have been identified and qualified their ability to produce up to 1,000 CareBots per month within four to six months.

The Company is market driven. At the time of founding, nearly 12 years ago, the Company did extensive primary market research to determine the demographic profile of the early adopters of the then proposed product line. Subsequent to, and based on that original market research, they have assembled numerous focus groups to evaluate the fit of the CareBot personal robot into the participant's lives and their expected usage. The Company has also frequently employed the Delphi market research methodology by contacting senior executives, practitioners, and researchers knowledgeable in the area of elder care. Using this factual basis of internally performed primary and secondary market research, and third party research is the factual basis for the Company's sales forecasts.

"We project the available market size in dollars for cost effective, utilitarian, multitasking eldercare personal robots in 2011 to be $74.0B, in 2012 to be $77B, in 2013 to be $80B, in 2014 to be $83.3B, and in 2015 to be $86.6B. With market penetrations of 0.03% in 2011, 0.06% in 2012, 0.22% in 2013, 0.53% in 2014, and 0.81% in 2015, we will anticipate CareBot sales, from this consumer market segment, only, of $22.0M, $44.0M, $176M, $440.2M, and $704.3M, respectively. We expect these sales despite -- and perhaps because of -- the present recession due to pent up demand for significant cost reduction in eldercare expenses," opined Spencer.

The Company's "mobile robot solutions for safety, security and service(TM)" are appropriate not only for the consumer, but also professional healthcare, commercial security and defense markets. Professional healthcare require cost effective, timely errand running, portable telemedicine, etc. Homeland Security requires cost effective mobile robots to patrol and monitor public venues for weapons and WMD detection. Military users desire the elimination of the "man in the loop" to enable unmanned ground and air vehicles to not require constant human control and/or intervention.

The Company's business model is very much like that of an automobile manufacturer. Due to the final assembly, test, and shipping being done based on geographic and logistic realities; strategic business-to-business relationships can range from private labeling to joint manufacturing and distribution to licensing only.

Several dozen patent opportunities exist for the Company due to the many innovative and cost effective breakthroughs embodied not only in GeckoNav, GeckoChat, and GeckoTrak, but also in additional, secondary systems that include: GeckoOrient™, GeckoMotorController™, the GeckoTactileShroud™, the CompoundedSensorArray™, and the GeckoSPIO™.

The present senior management at GeckoSystems has over thirty-five years experience in consumer electronics sales and marketing and product development. Senior managers have been identified for the areas of manufacturing, marketing, sales, and finance.

By the end of this year, the Company plans to complete productization of its CareBot offering with the introduction of its fourth generation personal robot, the CareBot 4.0 MSR.

What Does a CareBot Do for the Care Giver?

The short answer is that it decreases the difficulty and stress for the caregiver that needs to watch over Grandma, Mom, or other family members most, if not much, of the time day in and day out due to concerns about their well being, safety, and security. 

But, first let's look at some other labor saving, automatic home appliances most of us use routinely. For example, needing to do two or more necessary chores and/or activities at the same time, like laundering clothes and preparing supper. 

The automatic washing machine needs no human intervention after the dirty clothes are placed in the washer, the laundry powder poured in, and the desired wash cycle set. Then, this labor saving appliance runs automatically until the washed clothes are ready to be placed in another labor saving home appliance, the automatic clothes dryer. While the clothes are being washed and/or dried, the caregiver prepares supper using several time saving home appliances like the microwave oven, "crock" pot, blender, and conventional stove, with possible convection oven capabilities. After supper, the dirty pots, pans, and dishes are placed in the automatic dishwasher to be washed and dried while the family retires to the den to watch TV, and/or the kids to do homework. Later, perhaps after the kids have gone to bed, the caregiver may then have the time to fold, sort, and put up the now freshly laundered clothes.

So what does a CareBot do for the caregiver? It is a new type of labor saving, time management automatic home appliance.

For example, the caregiver frequently feels time stress when they need to go shopping for 2 or 3 hours, and are uncomfortable when they have to be away for more than an hour or so. Time stress is much worse for the caregiver with a frail elderly parent that must be reminded to take medications at certain times of the day. How can the caregiver be away for 3-4 hours when Grandma must take her prescribed medication every 2 or 3 hours? If the caregiver is trapped in traffic for an hour or two beyond the 2 or 3 they expected to be gone, this "time stress" can be very difficult for the caregiver to moderate.

Not infrequently, the primary caregiver has a 24 hour, 7 days a week responsibility. After weeks and weeks of this sometimes tedious, if not onerous routine, how does the caregiver get a "day off?" To bring in an outsider is expensive (easily $75-125 per day for just 8 hours) and there is the concern that medication will be missed or the care receiver have an accident requiring immediate assistance by the caregiver, or someone they must designate. And the care receiver may be very resistant to a stranger coming in to her home and "running things."

So what is it worth for a care receiver to have an automatic system to help take care of Grandma? Just 3 or 4 days a month "off" on a daylong shopping trip, a visit with friends, or just take in a movie would cost $225-500 per month. And that scenario assumes that Grandma is willing to be taken care of by a stranger during those needed and appropriate days off.

So perhaps an automatic caregiver, a CareBot, might be pretty handy and potentially very cost effective from the primary caregiver's perspective.

What Does a CareBot Do for the Care Receiver?

It's a new kind of companion that always stays close to them enabling family and friends to care for them from afar. It tells them jokes, retells family anecdotes, reminds them to take medication, reminds them that family is coming over soon (or not at all), recites Bible verses, plays favorite songs and/or other music. It alerts them when unexpected visitors, or intruders are present. It notifies designated caregivers when a potentially harmful event has occurred, such as a fall, fire in the home, or simply been not found by the CareBot for too long. It responds to calls for help and notifies those that the caregiver determined should be immediately notified when any predetermined adverse event occurs.

The family can customize the persona of the CareBot. The voice's cadence can be fast or slow. The intonation can be breathy, or abrupt. The voice's volume can range from very loud to very soft. The response phrases from the CareBot for recognized words and phrases can be colloquial and/or unique to the family's own heritage. The personality can range from brassy to timid depending on how the caregiver, and others appropriate, chooses it to be.

Generally, the care receiver is pleased at the prospect of family being able to drop in for a "virtual visit" using the onboard webcam and video monitor for at home "video conferencing." The care receiver may feel much more needed and appreciated when their far flung family and friends can "look in" on them anywhere in the world where they can get broadband internet access and simply chat for a bit.

Why is Grandma really interested in a CareBot? She wants to stay in her home, or her family's home, as long as she possibly can. What's that worth? Priceless. Or, an average nursing home is $5,000 per month for an environment that is too often the beginning of a spiral downward in the care receiver's health. That's probably $2-3K more per month for them to be placed where they really don't want to be. Financial payback on a CareBot? Less than a year- Emotional payback for the family to have this new automatic care giver? Nearly instantaneous-

Safe Harbor:

Statements regarding financial matters in this press release other than historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company intends that such statements about the Company's future expectations, including future revenues and earnings, technology efficacy and all other forward-looking statements be subject to the Safe Harbors created thereby. The Company is a development stage firm that continues to be dependent upon outside capital to sustain its existence. Since these statements (future operational results and sales) involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, the Company's actual results may differ materially from expected results.

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Contact Information

  • Telephone:
    Main number: 1-866-CAREBOT (227-3268)
    International: +1 678-413-9236
    Fax: +1 678-413-9247