Science & Hi-Tech

Robots will strut the catwalk alongside humans for the first time ever at London Fashion Week

Silicon Valley robotics company Ohmni is partnering with Los Angeles-based designer Honee to send one of its telepresence robots (pictured) down the runway in September 
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A rolling robot will model couture designs at London Fashion Week for the first time ever.   

Silicon Valley robotics company Ohmni is partnering with Los Angeles-based designer Honee to send one of its telepresence robots down the runway in September. 

It’s the latest example of how hi-tech devices are being outfitted for everyday use, from wearables to 3D-printed clothing. 

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Silicon Valley robotics company Ohmni is partnering with Los Angeles-based designer Honee to send one of its telepresence robots (pictured) down the runway in September 

Silicon Valley robotics company Ohmni is partnering with Los Angeles-based designer Honee to send one of its telepresence robots (pictured) down the runway in September 

The robot is slated to walk the catwalk alongside human models on September 15th and 16th at an event presented by House of iKons at the Millennium Gloucester London Hotel. 

It will be wearing a Honee design, but the exact specifics of the ensemble are being kept under wraps until the event. 

Honee said in a statement that her vision ‘is for people to see Ohmni and robots as part of their everyday lives with a focus on the present rather than the future, with a play on the word ‘telepresence.”

The Honee show is named ‘ÁI’, in reference to the rise of artificial intelligence technology, but also the Vietnamese word for love, the designer explained. 

‘We’re in the world of AI and loving it,’ she said in a statement. ‘I use fashion as the language to express the skins we are in. 

‘In my upcoming show, it’s not about the future of robots, of a world unknown, but of the presence, the NOW. 

An Ohmni robot is slated to walk the catwalk alongside human models on September 15th and 16th at an event presented by House of iKons at the Millennium Gloucester London Hotel

LA-based designer Honee (left) is pictured at London Fashion Week in 2017. Honee's show this  year is called 'ÁI' in reference to artificial intelligence and the Vietnamese word for love

LA-based designer Honee (left) is pictured at London Fashion Week in 2017. Honee's show this  year is called 'ÁI' in reference to artificial intelligence and the Vietnamese word for love

LA-based designer Honee (left) is pictured at London Fashion Week in 2017. Honee’s show this  year is called ‘ÁI’ in reference to artificial intelligence and the Vietnamese word for love

‘And OhmniLabs is ushering in the world of NOW with their telepresence robots,’ Honee added.

Honee has also shown her designs at Los Angeles Fashion Week in the past. 

Founded in 2015, OhmniLabs was launched by co-founders Jared Go, Tingxi Tan and Thuc Vu, robotics experts from Carnegie Mellon and Stanford. 

The firm launched its Ohmni robot last year as a different take on telepresence robots. 

Telepresence robots are often used as a way for people to remotely attend meetings, classes or other events. 

But Ohmni is meant to be used in the home, primarily as a way for family members to stay in touch when they’re away on business, or to drop in on grandparents who may live in a retirement community. 

WHAT IS THE OHMNI TELEPRESENCE ROBOT?

Silicon Valley-based robotics firm OhmniLabs has launched the Ohmni robot as a telepresence robot that helps family members stay in touch. 

Its creators hope that one day it can even help around the house, completing tasks like washing the dishes, doing laundry and more. 

The robot comes at a hefty price, however, with models starting at $1,495.

Here’s a breakdown on the Ohmni’s specifications: 

Silicon Valley-based robotics firm OhmniLabs has launched the Ohmni robot as a telepresence robot that helps family members stay in touch

Silicon Valley-based robotics firm OhmniLabs has launched the Ohmni robot as a telepresence robot that helps family members stay in touch

Silicon Valley-based robotics firm OhmniLabs has launched the Ohmni robot as a telepresence robot that helps family members stay in touch

  • Available in black, red or white 
  • Comes in two heights – either 48in or 56in
  • Weighs just 20lbs
  • A 10.1in touchscreen display is built into the stand
  • Battery life lasts for up to six hours
  • Connects to WiFi
  • Equipped with a far-field microphone and speaker
  • Attached to a tripod-style wheelbase
  • Auto-docking function for charging

The robot, which gets around on a tripod wheelbase, comes with a built-in tablet that’s used to video chat with others. 

OhmniLabs raised over $100,000 for the Ohmni robot on Indiegogo, which it hopes could one day handle more complex tasks, like washing dishes, doing laundry or just generally helping around the house. 

‘When we started the company, we wanted to do something with robots that could help people,’ Go told TechCrunch. 

‘A lot of companies are already focused on automation, manufacturing, saving costs, and probably reducing the number of jobs, but we believe you need to counterbalance that with robots that improve quality of life.’

Now, the Ohmni robot will find itself outside the home and under the bright lights of London Fashion Week. 

‘We’re excited to have our Ohmni robots walk the runway at London Fashion Week,’ Vu explained.

‘Our partnership with Honee and the House of iKons shows how robotics and the fashion world can creatively work together.’   


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