4K: Expectation vs. Reality
May 20, 2017

Telepresence robot

A telepresence robot is a remote-controlled, wheeled device that has wireless internet connectivity. Typically, the robot uses a tablet to provide video and audio capabilities.

Telepresence robots are commonly used to stand in for tour guides, night watchmen, factory inspectors and healthcare consultants. In a distance education class, a telepresence robot can move around the room and interact face-to-face with individual students, just as an on-premises instructor might. In business, a telepresence robot can be used to help an employee whose disability or location prevents him from traveling still have a physical presence in the office.

Here are a few examples of telepresence robots:

  • iRobot’s Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant (RP-VITA) is designed for use in hospitals where it makes it possible for doctors to consult with patients, guide staff and confer with other medical practitioners remotely.
  • Double Robotics’ Double, which consists of a wheeled base integrated with an iPad, is designed for a business environment to enhance telecommuting or teleconferencing.
  • Suitable Technologies’ Beam+ is designed for in-home uses, such as mobile video chat, oversight of children or elderly people and remote security monitoring. The vendor’s Beam Pro product is designed for the workplace.
  • Although telepresence robots aren’t inexpensive, they are typically much more affordable than the travel costs or fees they might replace.

    Watch an introduction to the Double telepresence robot:


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