Friday, March 09, 2007

Robot Goes to Work For You

Last year we saw a telepresence robot that would allow a bedridden student to attend classes as a rolling video terminal. There are also robot screens that can transport a doctor to the the side of a patient's hospital bed from his office.
Now there is a startup promising a telepresence robot for teleconferencing and allowin you to be in two places at once.
Headthere is designing a remote controlled robot named Giraffe. You will be able to roll arouns the office remotely with the 5 foot 8 inch Giraffe. It has a high resolution camera with 8x zoom atop a 14 inch monitor.

Presumably you would display your own live face in the monitor, but you could display any body part there. Who knows, you might even be able to put your face with the background of say an airport terminal instead of your actual poolside scene.

The base has some obstacle avoidance capabilities and can roll over small obstacles so you could wander around a factory or move from office to conference room.
This would be perfect for the control freak or the slacker.

Headthere says that the cost will range from US $1800 to $3000 and it will be available in 2008. Just a guess that there looking for venture capital too.

HeadThere: Maker of the Giraffe Video Conferencing Robot



Blogger Bob Mottram said...

I can imagine all kinds of applications for these kinds of telerobot, both of a fun nature and also in a strictly commercial sense.

Some factories still use people to carry out manual inspection of products as a form of quality control. I can imagine these imspectors being replaced by telerobots, with the inspection task being turned into a kind of competitive web-based game.

On the fun side you have the possibility of telerobot holidays, game shows, and of course telerobot dating!

11:28 AM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger thorn_stevens said...

I think the real value, for smart entrepreneurs, would be to extend the use of outsourced talent to countries like India. $1800 and a high-speed Internet connection gets you an on-site engineer from India at half the cost (or less) of an American engineer. Or vice-versa -- remote inspection of Asian factories by American companies.

9:32 AM, March 11, 2007  

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