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iPad face, robot body

December 5, 2011 | Hogan Keyser
irobot_ava.jpgDecember 2, 2011 by Lesley Ciarula Taylor via HealthZone.ca -- Mt. Sinai's Dr. Mirek Otremba is looking forward to having iRobot's AVA puttering behind him with his iPad as he does his rounds.

"As a doctor, you don't have enough pockets and hands," the hospital's infometrics committee physician liaison says.

Like a growing number of Mt. Sinai doctors, Otremba already has an iPad in his hands, which uses hospital-designed applications for clincial evaluation. The downtown Toronto hospital is a world leader in using mobile technology, but concerns about patient privacy, sterile environments and just not enough hands are slowing down universal acceptance, Otremba said.

AVA, a 5-foot-tall robot with an iPad head, is a little bit C3PO, a little bit Miss Moneypenny and a little bit Dr. House.

"We see this as a marriage of two technologies, mobile computing and robotics" said Colin Angle, chief executive officer of iRobot, the Massachusetts robotics company developing AVA.

IRobot, most famous for developing the Roomba vaccuum cleaner, has just applied for a patent for AVA, their entry in the highly competitive world of telepresence robotics.

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