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Robotics Science

Telepresence Robot Rundown 51

DeviceGuru writes "A handful of innovative high-tech startups have recently emerged to create a new market: remote telepresence robots. With one of these robotic Avatars, you can wander around in the remote environment, chatting with coworkers and managers, attending meetings, and solving problems encountered through those interactions. InformationWeek's Telepresence Robot Smackdown compares five such bots — the MantaroBot TeleMe, VGo Communications VGo, Anybots QB, Suitable Technologies Beam, and Revolve Robotics Kubi — and includes short videos demonstrating each. As the article concludes, 'bear in mind that what we're witnessing here is the emergence of a new industry; and if Moore's Law applies here as it does to so many IT spheres, it won't be long before these gadgets are inexpensive, commonplace, and far more flexible and intelligent."
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Telepresence Robot Rundown

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @01:31PM (#42575405)

    video conferencing (even lame webcam types) works great. It won't replace a face to face meeting, but it's a heck of a lot better than everyone on a conference call. And if you are coordinating with people who are a day's travel away, burning 2 days of travel for a 1 hour meeting means that even if the video conference is 1/10th as efficient as a live meeting, you're still ahead of the game. (I'm sorry, I don't count the ability to kind of sort of work on a plane, even in business class, as being a substitute for being in your office with your resources close at hand)

    And if you have a high end telepresence setup like the one from Cisco with the fancy sound and video system, it's pretty amazingly close to being there in person. The big thing you miss is the ability to have side conversations, but text messaging/im/fast email sort of replaces that (while, unfortunately, leaving a discoverable documentation trail, something that a whispered aside does not).

    One of the most valuable aspects of video conferencing is that it fixes the problem with straight teleconferences where you have a big group in one place and singletons in others. In the latter, there's no good way for the singleton to get the attention of the big group. But with videoconferencing, your smiling or grimacing face is down in the corner of their screen, and when you wave, they remember you are there.

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