Remote Control Colleagues

The Economist reports on “telepresence robots”:

Several start-ups are introducing new telepresence robots this year, and sales are growing as costs fall. RoboDynamics of Santa Monica, California, for example, has sold more than 100 of its $10,000 TiLR robots since 2008; its sleeker Luna model went on sale in January for $3,000, and its proposed 2015 model is expected to cost less than $1,000. Businesses commonly buy telepresence robots to inexpensively bring distant employees back “into the fold” at the office, says Fred Nikgohar, the company’s boss. Later this year a Pennsylvania start-up called Bossa Nova Robotics will start selling a 1.37-metre-tall telepresence “ballbot” called mObi that rolls around on a football-sized sphere, a design which enables it to weave through cluttered offices and turn on a dime.

Tom Simonite, who test drives a telepresence robot in the above video, reported on the technology a few years ago. We should reiterate that, unlike the Atlantic’s cover-story on IBM’s robots, we have not run oodles of sponsored content from the company that makes the robot.