Telepresence gets mobile and personal...
Is it a work day but you just can't haul yourself out of bed? Wish you could send a robot self in your place?
Well, soon you will be able to: the first Anybot telepresence robots ship to customers next month.
Users control Anybot over the internet - using controls inside a web browser to send the wheeled telepresence machine trundling around the office in their place.
A video of the Anybot user appears on a screen on the robot's head, and users can speak through built-in speakers, see using the robot's five-megapixel camera eye and hear through the bot's microphone.
Anybot can be controlled by multiple users - so as one person leaves the robot, a colleague can leap in.
Anybot is able to keep up with conversations on the move, running at 3.5mph on its two wheels and with collision-avoidance technology to guide it around obstacles and doors.
The robot receives controls and manages its comms through a built-in wi-fi connection. It can be controlled from a web browser running on a Mac or PC.
Anybot can run for eight hours before its battery needs charging.
At present, Anybots are only available in the US and do not have a release date for Europe.
But with the ability for those in the office to shut off annoying colleagues, perhaps Anybot will rapidly gain popularity.