Try before you Buy? Suitable comes up with their own viral marketing campaign

One of the biggest frustrations with the remote presence / telepresence robot business is getting the first mover in a company. Once a device has made it into the company and the concerns are overcome, companies inevitably decide to purchase more of these devices. But how do you make it achievable for companies to purchase these devices without having to carry a cost that requires budget approval.

Hassan offers the LoanerSuitable Technologies thinks they have a solution to the problem. As of the 3rd, Suitable is now offer a fully-featured Beam – with docking station and network services for a starting price of $4950 and a monthly rate of $574 which includes shipping throughout the Continental US.

So, you ask “How is this a trial program?” Well, for your first payment of $4950, part of the payment ($2581 of it) is actually a deposit. If the Beam that is returned is as-new with minor wear-and-tear, then the payment should be returned. If there is any damage, the cost of repairing is taken from the deposit.

How long is this “trial program”? According to Hassan at Suitable, the program is a 36 month contract that, at the end of 36 months, a one-time payment of $100 will transfer ownership of the Beam to the original lessee.

In asking Hassan about this plan, the overall cost of the Beam is now brought to slightly over $25K for the full three years. But the goal is not to lease Beams to the world, rather to give a taste of the product to interested buyers who can easily use a credit card to make the purchase and bring it into the corporate realm.

“The magic number if $5000 – if your product costs more than that, then there are corporate hoops to go through.” says Hassan. “Bring it under, and the adoption rates go up.”

But a good thing is not for every purchase and not necessarily forever. The Beam Corporate Leasing Program is only good for up to five Beams and may be terminated as an entry program at any time. So, if you are looking for a chance to Beam into another location, then here is the opportunity.

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Suitable takes Grand Award Winner from Popular Science

frickin laser beamsFar too funny. For some reason, PopSci thinks that the name Beam means “fricking laser beams” with their depiction of the Beam as the Grand Award Winner in the 2013 Best of What’s New Award from Popular Science magazine in the Hardware category.

Check out the article — and the image in the link: http://www.popsci.com/bown/2013/product/suitable-technologies-beam
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Did Unbounded Robotics release the White Horse of the Apocalypse?

You know their lawyers made them say this...Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.”

So last night, Unbounded Robotics finally released their product, for the upcoming RoboBusiness Conference tomorrow (did you get yourself a Beam?).

While the title is provocative, the joy of seeing what we remember fondly as the PR3 is nice to see come to life. Melonee and her team from Unbounded have devised a beautiful alternative to the $400K system (which, in our estimation cost on the order of $200K+ to build) to a $35K device out of the box. Simple, easy to use if you are a frequent ROS user, and a system that has many similarities to the original PR2.
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Reduce your carbon footprint and Beam into RoboBusiness this month!

So, you know that we have been following the adventures of various players in the market including the double on The Good Wife (Please make it stop!). But what is exciting is that RoboBusiness is teaming up with Suitable Technologies and offering people that do not want to suffer the cost of a flight to visit the conference by Beaming in via the Beams.

Instead of the cost of a flight, a hotel, the cost of a ticket ($1200/person) and the hassle of jetlag (and if you are from out of the country, the cost and hassle of a visa) – you can spend $50 and get your run of a Beam during the conference.

If you click here, you can sign up and reserve your Beam — and even get a chance to practice on one of the Beams in California.

Now, we got the email that suggests to companies to use the Beam to attract people to the conference for a face-to-face (as we hear EIC Owen Thomas at ReadWrite might have someone Beam in).

Check out this note:

Beaming into a conference

Why fly when you can Beam?


Robotics Trends has partnered with Suitable Technologies to significantly increase Showcase attendance and media coverage.

Supplement staff at your booth and your company’s presence during networking receptions. Via Beams, you can interact with remote European participants from 8am to noon on Thursday, when the Showcase is closed to on-site attendees. All you and your customers need is a webcam to roam around your booth:
Engage on-site attendees; Enable remote attendees to engage you.

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Posted in Beam, Remote Presence News, Remote Presence Systems, RPS Companies, Suitable Technologies | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

double! What in the world? We need a better solution than bumbling humour on The Good Wife!

Guys, guys, guys – we know you have been trying to get some visibility for the double – but these flubs are terrible.

Sadly, we watched this and cringed:

Granted they are the outtakes, but sheesh. The video was evidentially not broadcast quality, so that they had to set up green screens. And evidentially, the remote navigation and idle position was disappointing.

Please, please, PLEASE – make it STOP!

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Suitable Tech acquires Willow Garage!

This afternoon, we got a press release that was quite intriguing.

Suitable gets Willow Garage

Suitable Technologies Retains Willow Garage Talent to Further Develop Beam Remote Presence Technology

Palo Alto, Calif., August 21, 2013 – Suitable Technologies, Inc., has retained a majority of employees from Willow Garage, Inc. to increase and enhance the development of Suitable Technologies’ Beam™ remote presence system. Suitable Technologies will use the combined resources to further product development, sales and customer support.

See the full press release here.

Our take? It seems to be a good deal for both companies. Willow Garage, over the past few months, has been working on becoming an independent venture on its own. But since most of the scientific and innovation talent has gone to do their own endeavors (Open Source Robotics Foundation keepers of ROSIndustrial PerceptionhiDOF, and Unbounded Robotics), Willow was becoming more of a keeper of the PR2 flame and not able to keep such infrastructure afloat.

Bringing the two groups together (which Scott Hassan has been the head of both for sometime) gives Suitable their home once again (the predecessor of the Beam was created there) and a staff that are already versed in build and maintenance of robotic systems.

Seems like the obvious solution to the potential loss of an icon.

Posted in Remote Presence News, Scott Hassan, Suitable Technologies, Willow Garage | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Want to travel to Italy and never leave your home? Try this!

About three months ago, we were asked to research a possibility of helping a company provide an entertaining experience going telepresent from their homes in the US to Italy. Over the course of a couple of weeks, we competed in an internal contest to get the project, but unfortunately – we did not succeed.

Today, the San Pellegrino company posted on Facebook their “Three Minutes in Italy” adventure. You should try it out yourself – but note that it only works during daylight hours!

Three Minutes in Italy

Try it out and tell us how you think it is!

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Suitable shows off the WetaBeam at ComicCon 2013

You know, we here at PilotPresence love traveling without getting on an airplane. And tonight, we traveled from London, England to San Diego, California and showed up at ComicCon 2013.

Hanging around the Weta Booth, we got to play around with the newest addition to the Beam family, the WetaBeam.

Check it out!

Watch out for the Ray Guns

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double delivers and Cisco and iRobot make another Ava

News travels fast, but not when you are focused on this market.

Does this look familar? Click on the image to see why...

Does this look familar? Click on the image to see why…

double – which has been working feverishly to deliver their many orders – have announced that they are finally shipping out their devices to the pre-orders in the market. We know here at PilotPresence that double has the kewl and wow factor, but we await a test drive of these devices outside of the “controlled” environments.

Not to be outdone, Cisco and iRobot have announced their newest offspring, the Ava 500. Leveraging the Ava platform and the controls for Ava, Cisco has attached its telepresence solution on top of the Ava – and also providing a height control for the “head” of the remote person.
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Posted in AVA, Colin Engle, Double, Double Robotics, iRobot, Remote Presence News, Remote Presence Systems | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Polycom + Anybots equals InTouch + iRobot?

Polycom and AnybotsSo it looks like the medical rationale is beginning to heat up interest in the remote presence space (or “virtual presence” as Anybots and Sheldon call it). In time for the American Telepresence Association 2013 conference, Anybots and Polycom announces a partnership to offer the Polycom medical video solution.

The intriguing question is, can a partnership between Anybots and Polycom compete with the likes of InTouch and iRobot? InTouch has spent countless years developing a remote presence solution that brings the doctor directly to the hospital bed of a patient, whereas Anybots is providing a solution designed for nurses and PAs to offer after outpatient services to reduce readmission rates.

The question is — will this be a valuable market? Only time will tell.

The press release reads below the fold:
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Posted in Anybots, Anybots QB, Health Care, Industries, Remote Presence News, Remote Presence Systems, RPS Companies | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment