Double Robotics outdoes both Anybots and iRobot Ava

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.

Posted in Anybots, Anybots QB, Double, Double Robotics, Intouch Health, Remote Presence News, Remote Presence Systems, RPS Companies | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aldebaran acquires our favorite French remote systems player, Gostai

Nao meet Jazz

Nao, meet Jazz. Jazz, Nao.

Recent news from our friends in France, Jean-Christophe Baillie has found himself partnering with the wizards of Aldebaran through an acquisition of all tech, talent and software.

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!

Posted in GOSTAI, Jazz Connect, Jean-Christophe Baillie, Remote Presence News, Remote Presence Systems, RPS Companies | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

InTouch Health and iRobot Launch RP-VITA Telepresence System [video]

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

Continue reading

Posted in Health Care, Intouch Health, iRobot, Remote Presence News, Remote Presence Systems, RP-VITA, RPS Companies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Remote Presence Links for July 25, 2012

Sometimes it takes a bit of jetlag and some interesting emails to spur on a post here at Pilot Presence. And once again, we have some doozies:

Posted in R.BOT, Remote Presence Links, RoboDynamics, Suitable Technologies | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Press Release: Anybots hires a new CEO

David Rogan, new CEO of Anybots

A couple of nights ago, we got ourselves a little note in the inbox responding to our past report that Anybots may have been aqui-hired by Facebook.

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.

Posted in Anybots, Anybots QB, GOSTAI, Intouch Health, iRobot, Remote Presence Systems, RPS Companies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Remote Presence Links for May 15, 2011

So, you might ask, where have you been all this time? Aren’t things getting a bit exciting nowdays?

Enjoy the best of the bunch:

Posted in Anybots, Colin Engle, iRobot, Remote Presence Links, RPS Companies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rumors: Facebook acquires Anybots?

What if Facebook bought Anybots?

What if Facebook bought Anybots?

Stranger things have been suggested…

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:

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!

Posted in Anybots, Anybots QB, Public Service Announcement, Remote Presence Systems, RPS Companies, Trevor Blackwell | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

WSJ getting excited about remote presence systems

So, the Wall Street Journal discovered remote presence systems in San Francisco with a vGo system being the RPS that people are remotely present within.

And, a small errata to InfoWorld’s article on Affordable Videoconferencing. Hidden within the article has the following paragraph (bold by us):

If you’re looking to telecommute and want a physical presence attached to your videoconference element, you might try a remote presence system (RPS) — sort of like Skype on a stick. If you’re a “Big Bang Theory” aficionado, you might remember last year’s episode with Shel-bot, which used Pilot Presence’s RPS product.


The Texai – which was the the Shel-bot of The Big Bang Theory fame – is made by Willow Garage, not by our small publication.

And, even funnier, if you are next in Los Angeles, we hear rumor that Warner Brothers may be setting up a replica of the Shel-bot on their VIP Tour. But, that will have to be confirmed.

Posted in Remote Presence News | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Schmidt announces future of Remote Presence

Today, as I was working through my browser collection, I saw an interesting post, Google: Technology is making science fiction real where Eric Schmidt was talking about how technology would make many things we thought were science fiction into a reality.

My favorite part was the section on being in two places at once:

Small robots could be used so busy people can send them to events for video and voice transmissions when their presence isn’t required, Schmidt said.

“In the future you’ll be able to dispatch a robot to each event,” he said.

I wonder where he got that idea from?

Posted in Remote Presence News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Remote Presence Links for November 8, 2011

So, you might ask, where have you been all this time? Aren’t things getting a bit exciting nowdays?

Enjoy the best of the bunch:

Posted in Anybots, Anybots QB, Colin Engle, iRobot, Remote Presence Links, Remote Presence Systems | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment