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This Telepresence Robot Is Powered By a Smartphone

May 24, 2013 | Telepresence Options

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Story and Images by Emily Price / Mashable

What if you could have your smartphone greet customers while they're shopping in your store or have a tablet work as a babysitter?

That's the idea behind R.bots Synergy SWAN, a telepresence robot with that works with any Android or iOS device. To make the robot work, you attach your smartphone or tablet. The device charges while its docked, and the robot interacts with the world around it.

The robot is still a prototype, but R.bots was able to show me a few use cases for the device on the show floor at CTIA Wireless conference this week in Las Vegas.

The robot was able to see that I was there and interact with me in a pretty minimal way, much like you might interact with Siri. The difference here, of course, is that you're interacting with something that looks like a robot with a digital human-like face.

When I started taking pictures, the robot figured out what I was doing, and said "Let's take pictures. Big smile!", before changing its expression to a huge grin.

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