mObi (which seems awfully like our favorite Caprica character).Yes, we have been somewhat busy with the Presidential election and all that recently learned of the
In watching the video Bossa Nova has shown, it looks like the team took the Ballbot concept and created a much better solution that comes with its own kickstand (or the “rapid deploy safety mechanism” invented by Project Scientist Ben Brown).
From the site, we see that the mObi is 4.75 feet tall (compared to the over 5 feet of Suitable’s Beam) and the screen is the same as all tablet devices.
From reading their site, the mObi seems to be a proof of concept similar to iRobot’s AVA – allowing for others to leverage the device.
Check out their video below.
If there is a chance to test-drive this Ballbot, please contact us here.
At midnight tonight, Suitable Tech’s CEO Scott Hassan unveiled the second version of their Remote Presence System – the Beam.
The Beam itself is not the System, since the collection of components (the Beam remote presence device, the Beam client app and the docking station) make up the entire system. engadget was given a preview which shows the device as Scott has “beam”ed into the Beam. See the video below:
Yes, Mr. Scott – we are happy to see Beaming work finally. The most notable differences in the Beam seem to be:
- 17″ screen – largest in class
- double wifi antennas for both 802.11g and 802.11a – to avoid connection drop out
- generous navigation camera – much bigger to see the area around the base
- “wider than normal camera field of view”
- client app that works natively on Windows and Mac
- microphone array to provide better directionality for whom is speaking
- eight hour battery life – handling life’s little chores
As we get more hands on with the Beam, we will give you a more detailed analysis of this device and its value for money compared to its competitors.
For now, We want to Beam!
With a slew of articles discussing “Shelbot Has Nothing on These iPad Telepresence Robots” or “Double Robotics’ telepresence robot gives your iPad legs” in the last 24 hours, we were thrilled to see someone come up with an incredibly simple, elegant solution to the quite expensive iRobot Ava.
From the video, the device covers a number of issues that needed to be addressed to make a compelling, reasonably-cost remote presence system:
- small, agile footprint – with the double wheels and light base, the double supports quick movement without causing any potential physical injury (unless you let a kid climb up and the iPad falls on their head – ouchie!).
- adjustable neck height from the pilot’s control – one of the biggest benefits to this device is the ease of the head height to be changed from 3’6″ to 5′ – learning from the experiences Anybots (their Y-Combinator predecessor) discovered with their carbon-fiber neck. Impressively, the linear actuator works incredibly smoothly in the video – we’d love to see upfront and personal how fast the actuator goes up and down.
- leveraging Opentok as their video transport – instead of spending a great deal of time building a video software solution (as the upcoming Suitable solution will show), double went the “lean” route and built on top of the Opentok platform.
- rapid recharging rate – from the notes, it says “2 hours to full recharge”, one has to wonder how long it lasts on a day charge.
- manufactured in Miami from parts sourced in the USA – this is an amazing point of information since most companies are often beholden to the Chinese manufacturing channel and must wait for months to get parts. By doing a majority of their work in the US, this could give them a nimbleness that others may lack.
And while the system does have that sexy, Industrial Design look (see VentureBeat’s fawning over it), it is essentially taking the basic concepts from Anybots and using the premise from the iRobot Ava and pairing up with iPad’s video capabilities.
While it is an excellent entry into the telepresence robot space, one will have to see how they handle the issues of wifi router handoffs (since the iPad has ahold on the handling of the network), sudden accidents that cause the iPad to fall down (e.g., the Anybots had a nicely padded head ring around it) and how is handles charging without someone around to take care of the “plugging in” (see how vGo and the Texai accomplish it).
Kudos to the team at DoubleRobotics and looking forward to test driving in the near future.
JC has taken the role of Chief Science and Technology Officer, bringing his skill to augment the Aldebaran product offering. From the press release, it sounds like this acquisition was to strengthen both players – Aldebaran for the software and market availability into telepresence that GOSTAI could offer and GOSTAI gets a long running partner brand that can share in talent, tech and overall market resources and distribution.
So, we have InTouch partnering with iRobot – which offers protection to both players in terms of patent protection and market entry (iRobot into telepresence and medicine). Then we have Aldebaran with GOSTAI – potentially for a similar situation. What next – will Adept purchase Giraff? Suitable purchase Anybots?
Only time will tell.
Mazel tov JC, mazel!
Fancy new robots coming to the markets nowadays.
A year ago, InTouch Health and iRobot announced a partnership in terms of development and patent portfolio sharing. Yesterday, they announced the launch of their Remote Presence Virtual & Independent Telemedicine Assistant or RP-VITA.
The RP-VITA is an excellent marriage of the two companies capabilities – iRobot provides the drive and navigation technology, InTouch Health provides the doctor interface and the experiences for the RP-VITA’s upper torso. As our prior coverage with InTouch Health’s CEO Dr. Yulin Wang showed, the headpiece of the RP-line of products is one fo the key components and distinctive attributes that makes the RP-line so successful. Components like:
- Dual cameras to provide both wide and very close up viewing of the patient
- A smoothly swiveling head to more accurately reflect the motion of a “head” turning – satisfying the patient’s need to know the doctor is “in”
- InTouch Health’s telepresence navigation system to support familiar control to the RP-VITA if other hospitals with the RP-& line would like to upgrade
- (assumed) InTouch Health’s bandwidth and network capabilities in handling the variability of network performance when connecting to the RP-VITA
our past report that Anybots may have been aqui-hired by Facebook.A couple of nights ago, we got ourselves a little note in the inbox responding to
The email (from Tim Lenihan at Anybots) tells us that David Rogan, former Cisco Executive has joined Anybots as Chief Executive Officer to help bring about the re-energizing of the company.
Rather than rewrite the press release (which you can see here on the Anyblog), we were incredibly happy to hear that Trevor has kept the company in the fore and not letting the market pass Anybots by. The rumors included confirmation that engineers had been let go ˜ but with David, it sounds like things may get interesting.
Gostai is working the European market pretty hard, iRobot and InTouch Health have partnered up and vGo is making the rounds of the news networks – Anybots has been a thought leader in remote presence/telepresence robots.
And, in the upcoming weeks, it sounds like Suitable Technologies will be showing off their next play in the remote presence systems.
We here at Pilot Presence wish David well in his pursuit – and we look forward to more stories about Anybots.
Rumors have come to the attention of our blog that our friends at Anybots may have been acquired by the Facebook monolith — in their quest to acquire developer talent and potentially some neat telepresence toys.
To be clear, this rumor has yet to be substantiated by anyone — but in our investigation of some of Anybots’ web footprints have led us to think something may have happened to our friends in Mountain View in the past two months:
- The last tweet on Anybots’ twitter account was March 12th,
- The last Anybots’ blog post was on March 10th,
- The last time the Anybots’ Test Drive was operational was some time between March 12th and April 15th (as seen on the Anybots Test Drive Help page), and
- Anybots was suspiciously absent from the Techonomy event on May 3rd — and Trevor is never one to miss such an event
If Facebook did acquire Anybots during the mandated IPO quiet period, then both parties could not say anything until the IPO — which could explain why Anybots has been uncharacteristically quiet these past two months.
Hmmm – guess we will have to wait until after the IPO (or someone from Anybots tells us otherwise) to see if there is any truth to this rumor…
And Zuck (if we may call you that?) — if you did acquire these guys, do us a favor and keep the QB team humming — the world is a lot more interesting with QBs in our midst!