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Latest Telepresence and Visual Collaboration News:
Telepresence - Robotics Feed

Hidden Gems from CES - 2 Story Telepresence Robots, ultra-wide angle stitching cameras, and more

January 23, 2015 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by David J. Danto / Networkworld

Having just returned from my 20th CES, I am often asked why an enterprise technologist attends an event that is geared towards consumer technology. The reality is that technology doesn't understand the differences between consumers and businesses. Consumerization trends at large enterprises continue to blur the line between what is a consumer technology and a professional or enterprise one. If one ignores most of the fads and hype-storms, then this conference provides an insightful 12- to 18-month look ahead toward where technology is heading. So while you may have read about the latest in self-driving cars and smartwatches in the mainstream media, here's a taste of some of the items you might not have heard about that will definitely affect our workspaces for tomorrow.

While most of the talk about display technologies was on the topic of 4K/Ultra High Definition (UHD) models with ultra-high prices, we also saw some of the new curved displays now available in desktop monitor sizes.

Robotbase Presents the AI Personal Robot on Kickstarter

January 21, 2015 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Tabby McFarland / Small Business Trends

It's a business owner's dream. Imagine a personal assistant that will order lunch, manage calls, schedule appointments, take pictures at events, and even remind you of your anniversary. It certainly is nice to have a helping hand, but hiring an employee to do all this isn't in everyone's budget. One possible solution could be to buy a robot that can do all this for you. At least that's what New York based company Robotbase thinks.

Robotbase is making some big claims when it comes to their Artificial Intelligence Personal Robot. True the company has not come up with a very exciting name, but it is an intriguing project. Robotbase claims their robot is a personal assistant, photographer, storyteller, telepresence device, and a home automation system. They are promising a lot packed into one machine.

World's first artificial intelligence personal robot developed by US startup Robotbase

January 9, 2015 | Telepresence Options

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An artificial intelligence robot capable of acting as a personal assistant, stylist, security guard, photographer and telepresence has been shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The Personal Robot, developed by New York-based startup Robotbase, is described by its creators as a "revolutionary product that changes everything".

iRobot Corporation's Robotic Hand Could Be a Game Changer

January 6, 2015 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Steve Symington / The Motley Fool

Those were the words spoken by iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT ) CEO Colin Angle after Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) acquired Boston Dynamics a little more than a year ago. That was Google's eighth robotics-related acquisition during a span of just a few months, so industry watchers couldn't help but wonder whether the move would be bad news for other competitive players like iRobot.

Though best known for its popular Roomba robotic vacuums, iRobot also offers a number of antonymous telepresence robots built on its Ava mobile robotics platform. While its current commercial and healthcare iterations don't have arms or hands, Angle has long stated he hopes to evolve the platform into a sort of "robotic butler," operating within the confines of our homes.

RoboDynamics' Fred Nikgohar launches open-source personal telepresence robot campaign on Kickstarter

January 5, 2015 | Telepresence Options

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Serial roboticist Fred Nikgohar, CEO of RoboDynamics has launched a KickStarter campaign to raise $500,000 to launch Luna, a personal robot built on the open source Robot Operating System (ROS) platform. Luna will be a human scale robot with movable arms and will be open source customizable and capable of accepting peripherals and add-ons developed by 3rd party developers.

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Luna Personal Robot Launches For $999

December 15, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Julian Horsey / Geeky Gadgets

If you are in the market for an affordable personal robot you might be interested in Luna, a first human size personal robot designed for everyday practical use.

Luna includes a wealth of features that can be enhanced using applications and even has a personality, check out the video below created by Fred Nikgohar to learn more about Luna.

Scientists develop artificial skin that can feel rain and the touch of a hand

December 11, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Michael Casey / CBS News

There have been dramatic leaps in developing prosthetics, but there's one attribute in particular that's been largely overlooked.

Many artificial limbs are almost as flexible as, and function like, the real thing, and some even connect to peripheral nerves to allow for mind control of the prosthesis.

Can robots be managers, too?

December 3, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by ISPR

Robots are starting to enter homes as automatic cleaners, work in urban search and rescue as pseudo teammates that perform reconnaissance and dangerous jobs, and even to serve as pet-like companions. People have a tendency to treat such robots that they work closely with as if they were living, social beings, and attribute to them emotions, intentions, and personalities. Robot designers have been leveraging this, developing social robots that interact with people naturally, using advanced human communication skills such as speech, gestures, and even eye gaze. Unlike the mechanical, factory robots of the past, these social robots become a unique member of our social groups.

Toshiba Android Will Take You for a Trip Down the Uncanny Valley

December 3, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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All aboard for another trip down the Uncanny Valley!

At the CEATEC Japan electronics trade show in October, Toshiba trotted out what it calls a "lifelike communication android," though perhaps the term lifelike is a bit generous. The android, named Aiko Chihiro, is similar to others we've seen at labs and trade events. While certain parts of the robot look quite good, such as the hair, I found that, as I watched Aiko move, it didn't take long for my Uncanny Valley instincts to kick in.

Bedroom-bound quadriplegic develops drone to see the world

November 25, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by The Telegraph

A quadriplegic man who is confined to his bedroom has used his computing expertise to see the world from his bedroom, by flying a camera-mounted drone up to thousands of miles.

Stuart Turner could soon be looking round the Grand Canyon or Niagra Falls using the 2kg flying device, which he controls by moving his head his head and eyes using Google Glass computer worn on his head.

Cameras, robotic mules could help battle Ebola in West Africa

November 21, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Sharon Gaudin / Computerworld

Researchers are working on technology that could be shipped to West Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak as soon as a few months from now, while also looking ahead to bigger plans to combat any disease outbreak.

"Absolutely. This is something we can do," said Robin Murphy, a professor of computer science and engineering at Texas A&M University and director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue said Wednesday.

European Robotics Week 2014

November 18, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Robert Loos / Robotics Today

Next monday, the 4th edition of the European Robotics Week will take place in a range of locations throughout Europe featuring a variety of robotics-related activities for the general public.

The event is coordinated by euRobotics AISBL, a Brussels-based robotics association that aims to serve as a sustainable umbrella organization for the European robotics community.

Beam opens first telepresence robotics store staffed with robots

November 14, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Mark Albertson / The Gospel Herald

Suitable Technologies, a smart presence systems company, has opened what is believed to be the first retail outlet by a remote telecommunications enterprise to sell its video telepresence devices directly to consumers.

The store, which is located on a busy main street in downtown Palo Alto, California, held its grand opening for the media on October 30 and opened its doors to the general public the following day.

Meet Lowe's Newest Sales Associate -- OSHbot, the Robot

October 29, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Ashley Rodriguez / Advertising Age

Lowe's is set to unleash a retail-ready, multilingual robot. The project is designed to help shoppers navigate stores quickly and easily.

"People want to come in and find exactly where they want to go," said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe's Innovation Labs. "And they want to have a conversation instead of trying to find a map."

Robot will beam live Moon pictures to Oculus users

October 22, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Jane Wakefield / BBC

The project is part of a $30m prize from Google offered to a team that can send video back from the moon.

The robot has already been shown to potential investors, including Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart.

Caring For Relatives By Robot

October 21, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Forbes

The days of extended independent living, where a robot could allow you to have a quasi-physical presence with a distant relative, talk to them, perform chores for them and possibly even have physical contact with them, is around the corner. At the Internet of Things (IoT) World Forum last week in Chicago, I caught a glimpse of the future and it isn't far off.

Even though conference sponsor Cisco admits that the IoT is overhyped, the progress is real and the effect on industries and society will be profound. Goldman Sachs is predicting by 2020 there will be 28 billion connected devices. 300,000 devices per hour are being connected to the Internet according to Wim Elfrink, Cisco's Executive Vice President of the Industry Solutions Group and Chief Globalization Officer--he's the visionary for IoT. According to Elfrink the IoT is being adopted faster than any technology in history. Essentially what he and everyone else is saying is that in the future, anything that can be connected to the Internet will be.

We just had an out-of-body experience with this robot-Oculus project

October 9, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Mat Smith / Engadgets

It's an unusual experience for a weekday afternoon: I stare up to see myself, staring up. I'm strapped into an Oculus Rift VR headset, which is both controlling (and streaming from) cameras atop a 1.5ft robot roaming around my feet. This robot on wheels is composed of segments that hold a stereo camera, storage, the "brains" and, importantly, a wireless internet connection to stream dual camera feeds to a nearby PC -- as well as receive movement instructions. The effect, courtesy of high-latency motion feedback from the Rift, is that when I turn to the right, or look upwards, the robot does exactly the same thing, with a motorized joint connected to the camera module matching my gaze.

Leading Telecom Operator, Orange, Partners With Suitable Technologies to Bring Customers Beam+ and Ub-y

October 6, 2014 | Telepresence Options

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OrangeSA

PALO ALTO, CA, Oct 06, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- Suitable Technologies Inc. (R), the company that brings people together with the Beam(R) Smart Presence System (SPS), with its French partner Awabot, today announced a collaborative effort with Orange SA, a global leader in telecommunications operations. The effort brings together Suitable Technologies' Beam+, a smart presence system that makes it possible to see, visit, and stay close to anyone, and Ub-y, an innovative new offering from Orange, that gives customers the power of ubiquity, so they can be everywhere at once without the need for travel. Ub-y will be available at select Orange locations in 2015.

Beam+ combines mobility and video conferencing to enable users a way to speak, see, and move about so they can interact with friends and family in a natural way from anywhere in the world. Beam+ embodies the user with an authentic presence, and immerses the user with reliable low-latency audio and video for natural communication and control.

Loneliness narrows the uncanny valley

September 9, 2014 | Telepresence Options

TelenoidR1_robot

Story and images by Michelle Starr / CNET

Talking to inanimate objects when you're feeling lonely may not be so strange after all. According to new research conducted by a team at Darmouth College in the UK and Harvard University in the US, we're more likely to perceive life in inanimate faces when we're feeling socially disconnected. In short, if you're low on human contact, you might start feeling a little less creeped out by the uncanny valley -- because those faces look more alive to you.

This is because, when people are starved of social contact, they start attributing human characteristics to objects: a face on a volleyball, for instance. Or a doll. Or... a robot.

Change up the Way you Communicate with PadBot, the Telepresence Robot

August 25, 2014 | Telepresence Options

PadBot_office

Story and images by Leah Gonzalez / Techly

Can't make it to that important meeting at your company's other office? Let your PadBot robotic stand-in roll in and establish your presence.

A PadBot consists of a base that houses the wheeled motion system, a slim 'neck' that's about three feet high, and a head or pad that holds one 7 to 10-inch tablet. Its creators describe its shape as a "white goose."

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