I think most of us think that robots are something of our future. We probably all believe that someday robots will help us with our house cleaning, home security, business delivery, and law enforcement. They will be our constant companion and uncomplaining servant.
Well I am here to tell you that the time for a useful robot is Now! I just purchased my first robot and it has really helped my life, saving me many hours of commute time and making me more available to my clients. The robot is called a “Double Robot” and it is essentially a virtual presence robot. It uses an iPad as a head and then has a Segway-like base that uses a gyroscope to keep itself standing. An expandable pole is in between and it can go from 60″ when standing to 42″ when it sits down around a table.
Meet My Robot
I can drive the robot from my iPhone, iPad, and Web Browser. It shows my face on the robot’s iPad and I can see through both cameras. The front facing camera is my eyes and the rear facing camera has a mirror over it that allows me to see straight down while I am maneuvering in tight places. I can easily steer with arrow keys on my keyboard or with arrows on the screen. I can also point to something on the screen and it will immediately face that location.
At this point, I think this is an amazing piece of tech genius. I use it all the time and it gives me a presence at the location that is just not the same as Skyping in or using Goto Meeting. In fact, I think that the difference in presence is about the same as the difference from a voice call and a video call. There is just so much of the communications you miss by seeing in only one direction and not being able to move around when you Skype someone. I put the robot at one of my clients that I was spending 2-3 days at each week. Now I am going only once per week.
I have already bought my second robot so that my Partner can use it when he is in India. We are going to buy two more in the next couple of months and put them both in India so he can manage our CTO projects while he is here.
I am all in and think that this is the first robot that is actually useful to many businesses. They cost $2,500, plus the iPad and I can justify that in a couple of days at the clients locations. Two big thumbs up for Double Robots!