So, no sooner than I start this site than does a new player in the robotic telepresence space show up.
Mantaro Products – a product development and engineering shop has built a low cost telepresence robot – for $3500 – a much lower price than the $15K Anybot or even the $5K vGo.
Looking very much like the standard screen on a stick, the MantaroBot looks like another version of the Texai – even down to the use of Skype as the video transport solution. The funniest response was Engadget complaining about the aesthetics of the device, which was amusing to read.
Articulating the same opportunities for telepresence robots as other players are, Jeremy Parsons, CEO of Mantaro, is quoted saying the following application opportunities:
- Attending meetings when working from home
- Touring a field office or factory floor and interacting with employees or customers
- Allowing medical patients to “virtually” be at home and interact with family
- Managing distance education or corporate training
One thing that I noted in the feature list on the MantaroBot Datasheet, and was picked up by another blogger, was the automatic link monitoring designed to stop the device from moving if the communication link fails. Intriguing item to point out – is this not a bug that became a feature?
And the navigation interface I found initially confusing, but watching the video helped to clarify.
One thing I noted – this solution reminds me of the SuperDroid RP2W solution – now in it’s 4.5 version. A year ago, this solution was on the order of $7K, but today it is around $5.4K.