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.

And now Cisco attaches to the Ava base

And now Cisco attaches to the Ava base

This solution offers iRobot a second front to capitalize on the growing remote presence/robotic telepresence trend – after their collaboration with the RP-VITA and InTouch Health. And, like the Anybot solution which provides Polycom with a transport solution, the Ava provides Cisco with a moveable base and the ability to overcome the plastering of the telepresence screen on the wall.

And, as mentioned with the Verge article, the Ava 500 does create their own maps of the environment — essentially a plan of the space in order to be able to provide the command and control — or as Colin puts it, “professional” versus “joystick”. The intention is to provide a stark contrast to one of the issues pilots/remote people may have — navigation.

But what we are curious about is this particular snippet in the video below. Why does the replanning/sensor fusion look like someone edited the video like a green screen shot? Granted there is the reflection on the glass on the right, but something seems quite unusual about this particular part of the video.

There are other curious parts to the product — including the fact that it is launching as late as “early 2014”. Our assumptions are that Beam and double, who have been getting a great deal of play from their presence in the media and events like CES and SxSW, have begun to spook the video telepresence players. And with iRobot’s focus on the base and the major telepresence video providers, iRobot is an excellent partner to provide these solutions.

We look forward to seeing how this solution handles the loss of wifi signal, the challenge of a raised doorjam and the dreaded shag carpet!

But that is for our test drives…

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