A telepresence robot is a remote-controlled, wheeled device with a display to enable video chat and videoconferencing, among other purposes.
Here are a few examples of telepresence robots:
- iRobot’s Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant (RP-VITA) is designed for use in hospitals where it makes it possible for doctors to consult with patients, guide staff and confer with other medical practitioners remotely.
- Double Robotics’ Double, which consists of a wheeled base integrated with an iPad, is designed for a business environment to enhance telecommuting or teleconferencing.
- Suitable Technologies’ Beam+ is designed for in-home uses, such as mobile video chat, oversight of children or elderly people and remote security monitoring. The vendor’s Beam Pro product is designed for the workplace.
Although telepresence robots aren’t inexpensive, they are typically much more affordable than the travel costs or fees they might replace. They also enable much more interactivity than regular video chat. In a distance education class, for example, a telepresence robot can move around the room and interact face-to-face with individual students, just as an on-premises instructor might.
Telepresence robots can enable remote tour guides, administrative assistants, home visitors, night watchmen and factory inspectors, among many other possibilities.
See an introduction to the Double telepresence robot: