The folks of Mashable did an excellent rundown of the idea of a telepresence robot, which is basically a way to have an annoying colleague running around without him actually being there. He’ll be replaced by a robot… well, sort of.
Double Robotics created this telepresence robot, going for $2500 apiece. It’s both creepy and cool, seeing how you can control this gizmo around the office, as it shows your face on its screen. This concept has been tried before, by the likes of iRobot, who created the AVA 500 model, that packs an iPad-based navigation system.
It has a pre mapped location setting and it costs $2500 to rent per month. However, for the same amount you can buy your own Double, that lacks sensors or the stability of the AVA 500, but it makes it makes up with… cuteness. While some telepresence robots use sensors to detect obstacles, the Double will rely on the user’s skills, as he uses physical keys on the iPad Mini for example to drive the robot around.
The gizmo uses a mirror pointed at the iPad’s rear facing camera to see what is placed at the robot’s feet. You’ll get a dual view of what’s in front and below the bot. Video and sound quality will depend on the WiFi network, but even so, don’t expect a crisp HD experience. Quite a nice Xmas present this one, right?