SOURCE: GeckoSystems Intl. Corp.

March 10, 2011 08:00 ET

GeckoSystems Reveals Agenda for Third Annual "Mobile Robots in Motion" Conference

CONYERS, GA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) - GeckoSystems Intl. Corp. (PINKSHEETS: GOSY) (http://www.geckosystems.com/) announced today the agenda for their third annual "Mobile Robots in Motion" Conference April 13-14, 2011. 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™."

"All of us here at GeckoSystems are excited about our third 'Mobile Robots in Motion' stakeholder conference to publicly demonstrate our state of the art mobile service robots (MSRs), our suite of proprietary technologies -- including the recently developed GeckoImager™ -- and our first product, a personal companion robot, the CareBot™. We are very pleased with the response to date regarding our upcoming conference. We believe our attendees' interest is due to not only our flagship product -- our proprietary automatic self-navigation software, GeckoNav™ -- but also the reality that we have a complete multitasking personal companion robot, the CareBot™, with verbal interaction and 'command and control' capabilities, GeckoChat™, and the ability to routinely follow a designated family member with GeckoTrak™," observed Martin Spencer, President/CEO, GeckoSystems.

GeckoSystems is demonstrating at their conference that their next-generation practical, personal companion robots have the ability to help caregivers perform critical eldercare monitoring and extend the time that people can live independently. Their CareBot home care robot is capable of assisting in senior care in a variety of real-life situations, such as on-time reminders of medication and enabling a sense of safety due to being "watched over" by family members. GeckoSystems' consumer healthcare mission is to add years of independent living to the elderly at acceptable levels of risk and cost to the primary caregivers.

This conference, with its live demonstrations, will enable many industry observers and investors to witness and determine for themselves the proximity to market and consumer acceptance GeckoSystems' first product, the CareBot, will enjoy. Additionally they will be better able to evaluate the probability of income streams from technology licensing and applicability in other markets besides the consumer, such as commercial security, commercial cleaning, public safety, professional healthcare, government systems, agriculture, and education.

The CareBot™

As a new type of modern eldercare, the usage of CareBots will postpone, if not eliminate, many elderly persons from having to endure the loneliness and loss of independence when living in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. Their families can now better manage the difficult decisions regarding the independence they allow their now dependent parent while minimizing the concern and risk the adult care giver is willing to assume for a prudent level of independence for their now dependent parent.

"For the last several years, the US eldercare crisis is commonly portrayed as 'not happening' until the baby boomers reach the age of great reliance on their children and younger family members. The truth of the matter, since the US is the only country in the top ten of the world's industrialized nations without national healthcare, is that we really don't have solid statistics for our true 'bottom line' annual US eldercare costs. Many middle class baby boomers are presently suffering significant financial, time and emotional pressures attempting to care for their surviving WWII and Korean War era parents," observed Spencer.

At the time of the company's founding, extensive primary market research was performed to determine the demographic profiles and the market segments appropriate to identify the probable early adopters of eldercare capable personal robots. Not surprisingly the scientific statistical analyses revealed that elderly over 65 living alone in metropolitan areas with broadband Internet available and sufficient household incomes to support were identified as those most likely to adopt initially. Due to the high cost of assisted living, nursing homes, etc. the payback for a CareBot is expected to be only six to eight months while keeping elderly care receivers independent in their own long time homes and living longer due to the comfort of more frequent attention from their loved ones.

We project the available market size in dollars for cost effective, utilitarian, multitasking eldercare personal robots in 2012 to be $74.0B, in 2013 to be $77B, in 2014 to be $80B, in 2015 to be $83.3B, and in 2016 to be $86.6B. With market penetrations of 0.03% in 2012, 0.06% in 2013, 0.22% in 2014, 0.53% in 2015, and 0.81% in 2016, we will anticipate CareBot sales, from this consumer market segment only, of $22.0M, $44.0M, $176M, $440.2M, and $704.3M, respectively. The foregoing forecasts do not include sales in non-metropolitan areas; elderly couples over 65 (only elderly living alone are in these forecasts); those chronically ill, such as those afflicted with Alzheimers, etc; or already living with their adult children.

Some believe that the technology is approved and paid for through options such as the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, which broadens the definition, use, and funding of technology at home. Other sources include long-term care insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, Medicaid waivers, and (potentially) stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, under the provisions for health information technology and electronic medical records for acute care.

R&D of "Collision Proof" Wheelchair (GWK001)

GeckoSystems' recently announced GeckoImager uses sensor fusion incorporating Microsoft's Kinect's structured light machine vision capability merged with sonar range finders to compliment their GeckoOrient's™ solid-state compass, accelerometer, and odometry sensor fusion. This provides their automatic, self-navigation AI software, GeckoNav™, with sufficient and timely data to achieve actionable situation awareness and the resulting very safe loose crowd level of autonomy to be "collision proof."

"The amount of data that the new GeckoImager™ 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 that are frequently used. Our new GeckoImager sensor fusion system not only provides timely and actionable situation awareness information sufficient for our AI navigation software, GeckoNav, but also satisfies those requirements at a much lower cost, in both dollars and power," stated Kevin O'Connor, Sr. EE Roboticist, Research and Development, GeckoSystems.

"The 'collision proof' retrofit kit we are presently developing may be added to most joystick operated electric wheelchairs. The wheelchair occupant would simply move the joystick in the direction they wish to go and GeckoNav -- in concert with multiple GeckoSavants™ -- would automatically seek that desired direction while avoiding any and all obstacles whether stationary or moving. We expect the cost to the end user, completely installed, to be only a few thousand dollars for this heightened level of safety for not only the occupant of the wheelchair, but also those persons around them," stated Spencer.

Presently the company is doing market research for this business-to-business (B2B) market place using the Delphi Method. As previously announced, this sensor fusion breakthrough may enable some near term business-to-business niche retrofit markets, such as the one described here. Potential sales forecasts for this B2B market are being developed as manufacturing costs and market size become more clearly understood.

The company has several ongoing sensitive and delicate discussions occurring under bilateral non disclosure agreements with firms such as iFoo, Imasen, NTT, and Toyota in Japan, Applied Systems Intelligence in the US, and Flagman Grupp in the EU.

"One of the many reasons we have these 'Mobile Robots in Motion' conferences is that 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating.' In other words, very few people have ever seen a personal companion robot (or any MSR for that matter) in action and consequently do not understand how difficult our many inventions are to achieve. However, live demonstrations give our suite of enabling, proprietary technologies credence and value. We have several large markets before us due to our 'first mover' advantage in them. We are hopeful that some of the firms with which we are having licensing discussions regarding usage of some our technologies will also be in attendance.

"Our recent 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. Our GeckoImager breakthrough enables some near term business-to-business niche retrofit markets such as a 'collision proof' electric wheelchair. While we continue to expect technology-licensing revenues to precede revenues from product manufacturing and sales, this new B2B opportunity will be carefully reviewed for near term benefits. This augurs well for increased ROI and shareholder value for our nearly 1400 investors. We look forward to demonstrating our many mobile robot solutions and discussing near term and long term business opportunities with those attending this conference," concluded Spencer.

Journalists are encouraged to contact GeckoSystems regarding the progress of the company and potentially attending the upcoming invitation only "Mobile Robots in Motion" conference. Journalists and other interested parties may submit their request for an invitation to info(at)geckosystems.com or call 678-413-9236. Space is limited, so please inquire soon.

About GeckoSystems International Corporation:

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 companion 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 and interviewing 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 statistical substance for the Company's sales forecasts.

Not surprisingly the scientific statistical analyses applied revealed that elderly over sixty-five living alone in metropolitan areas with broadband Internet available and sufficient household incomes to support the increased costs were identified as those most likely to adopt initially. Due to the high cost of assisted living, nursing homes, etc. the payback for a CareBot™ is expected to be only six to eight months while keeping elderly care receivers independent, in their own long time homes, and living longer due to the comfort and safety of more frequent attention from their loved ones.

The Company's "mobile robot solutions for safety, security and service™" 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™.

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 care giver 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 personality 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 care giver, 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 any where 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.

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=140182685996116&v=wall

YouTube:
Kinect Enabled Personal Robot video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn93BS44Das
In this video one will observe static and dynamic obstacle avoidance into and back out of a cluttered and narrow "gauntlet alley." One may determine that the movements are smoother than what most people could do using a joystick, human controlled mobile platform. One will witness three low levels of obstacle avoidance: reactive, proactive, and contemplative. No prior mapping or path planning was performed before or during the demonstration run. GeckoNav, the AI savant doing the guiding, controls all mobile activities during this demo. You will witness subsumptive AI behaviors occurring as obstacle avoidance subsumes way point seek and vice versa with an emergent behavior expressed as errand running down a cluttered hallway and back without any human intervention.

Elder Care Robot Trial Video 2, Stationary View
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smUNls4LJtY&feature=player_embedded#at=16

One CareBot™ One Family
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxK46chfP6A&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

Mobile Robot Navigates Dining Room & Kitchen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_jd9_0W9mE&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

Contact Information

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