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Want to be in 2 places at once? Try a "VisitorBot"

July 23, 2013 | Telepresence Options

visitorbot


Story by Barbara Miller / Penn Live

Short of a breakthrough in self-cloning or time travel, George and Tyler Kellers' "VisitorBots" may be the best chance the public has to be in two places at once.

The Kellers developed the remote-controlled telepresence robots with video component in their Palmyra home, and have launched a month-long Kickstarter campaign for their company,�RoboMetrix, on July 15.

George Keller feels the biggest application may be monitoring older relatives and telecommuting in the workforce. Parents may also find an application for homeschooling or online programs.

"It's fascinating to be potentially in two places at once," said George Keller. "That is what it feels like when you're the operator and someone is on the robot end...It's almost like they're in the room with you."

"I can see just about anyone buying them - there's a million applications," Tyler Keller said, ranging from house-sitting to exploring a hard-to-reach spot, like under a car or in an attic.

They can be enjoyed as "toys," or be used in businesses to teleconference or monitor progress on projects.

George Keller said he used his VisitorBot Max to communicate with his daughter in Shanghai last Christmas. Using the device, she could go room-to-room, visiting various relatives and seeing their Christmas decorations.

Security could be another use for VisitorBots, with modifications to allow the robot to contact the owner it if discovers something amiss.

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