Double Robotics iPad-Based Telepresence Robot

Double Robotics new telepresence robot is basically an iPad on a stick - on a Segway. It's called Double and costs about $2,000 plus the cost of an iPad.


(Double Robotics telepresence robot)

Imagine youíre at your company, seated at your desk, when this iPad perched on a kind of pared-down Segway rolls up beside you. On the screen is the face of one of your co-workers located in another country who today is poking about your office, getting to know the layout, meeting some new people, asking a few questions. After a brief chat, it rolls off to the other side of the office. You look up five minutes later and do a double-take as you notice two of these devices having a conversation with each other by the water cooler.

I first read about this idea was in Niven and Pournelle's 1981 novel Oath of Fealty. In the novel, little remote-operated robots (with a screen showing the user's face) called "Arr-Twos" were used to help Chief Engineer Tony Rand see everything at once in an enormous arcology. However, Rand found that even though they worked for his purposes, other people had problems:

Good as the Arr-twos were, with their full two-way communications and their TV screen to show Rand's face, he'd found it necessary to get out and talk to the technicians and carpenters and pipe fitters and maintenance people; talk to them himself, because most construction people didn't like talking to an Arr-two even with Rand's TV image.
(Read more about Niven and Pournelle's robot probes)

I'm hoping that people will enjoy the iPad on a stick approach - and let's face it, people have come a long way in the last thirty years.

From Double Robotics via Digital Trends.

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