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Can't Attend a Conference? This Telepresence Bot Will Get You In

April 30, 2014 | Telepresence Options

People's_Bot

Story and images by Victoria Turk / Motherboard

Right now at the CHI conference in Toronto, one guest is likely turning a few heads (though unable to turn his or her own). The unusual attendee looks a bit like a Segway with an iPad as a face; a face that will continually change throughout the conference.

People'sBot1

Meet the People's Bot, the friendly telepresence robot that gets you into events you couldn't otherwise attend. That's right: a robot that, rather than stealing your job, actually wants to help you do it better.

The People's Bot was developed by MIT grad students Chelsea Barabas and Nathan Matias as a way of bringing telepresence to a wider audience. Barabas told me the project was inspired by seeing Edward Snowden deliver a TED talk via a telepresence bot.

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