Telepresence Gets Affordable
The Internet has enabled us to work away from traditional offices and be more removed from co-workers. While it’s great to be able to work 1500 miles away from the physical office, it does introduce a new set of challenges. Double Robotics aims to change that with the most affordable telepresence system on the market ($2500).
Meet the Double
The Double is a simple ambulatory device for an iPad. It keeps its balance on two wheels and has a neck for mounting an iPad you provide. An iOS app lets the distant operator control the movement of the Double. It assembles easily and is ready to start using in pretty short order.
Connecting Employees Instantly
With a telepresence device, remote workers can easily wheel right into meetings, and even go hunt down a coworker they need to talk to – no waiting for an email or Skype message to be noticed. Casual office conversations become much easier as well, building a better team feeling.
Navigation of the Double
Driving the Double is a very simple process with almost no learning curve. The remote user’s iPad gives on-screen arrow buttons for turning left or right, and moving forward or backward. One of the biggest challenges in getting around is avoiding obstacles on the floor, and the clever downward camera (which uses a mirror and the rear camera on the iPad) makes that easy to overcome.
User’s Wishlist for 2nd Generation
The Double is a very impressive unit for a first-generation device. Still there are a couple of things we’d like to see at the next revision. Currently, someone with physical access to the Double still needs to plug it in for overnight charging. It would be great if the remote operator could just drive the Double onto a charging Platform (like a Roomba). Also, the iPad often runs out of power before the Double does, so some connection that would let them share a power connection would be very useful.