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Latest Telepresence and Visual Collaboration News:
Telepresence - Robotics Feed

Robot will beam live Moon pictures to Oculus users

October 22, 2014 | Telepresence Options


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


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


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



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


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


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."

Robots To Give Guided Tours Of Tate Britain At Night

August 13, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by The Huffington Post UK/PA

Robots are to give art fans a night at the museum with a series of after-hours tours around Tate Britain through an award-winning project.

People from around the world will be able to view online as four camera-equipped mechanical guides will roam the galleries for five consecutive nights beginning tomorrow.

Jibo Hits $1.4M During the Final Days on Indiegogo

August 7, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Samantha Hurst / Crowdfund Insider

Just 9 days before the closing of its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, Dr. Cynthia Breazeal's Jibo has reached $1,485,938 from over 3,000 backers. The device is considered the world's first ever family robot and has continued to gain attention from news outlets all over the world.

Standing at 11 inches tall and weight in at 6 pounds, Jibo is the perfect robot for every member of the family. It is an interactive companion that brings intelligence, helpfulness and personality to experiences for every member.

Robotic Telepresence 2014: State of the Industry

August 5, 2014 | Howard Lichtman


We are continuing the syndication of the stories in this year's issue of Telepresence Options Magazine with our annual "State-of-the-Industry" report on telepresence robotics. This year's report is by Andra Keay, the Managing Director of Silicon Robotics, who looks at everything from the large remote presence platforms like VGo and iRobot's Ava that are starting to self-navigate and the head-and-neck robots like Kubi that are "swivl-ing" iPads and tablets for a look around the room.

In the coming weeks and months we will continue publishing the other articles from the Summer 2014 issue including: ยท

WebRTC - Reality Check 2014 by Tim Kridel
Room Control - Making it Easy - What's New and Cool in Room Control by Lindsey Adler
Streaming Video - Proxibid: How video streaming their auctions amped their revenues by Andy Howard
Distance Learning - New York University's Global Classroom by Andy Howard

Download printable PDF version here:

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Suitable Technologies CEO Scott Hassan shows up @ ComicCon on a tricked-out Beam Telepresence Robot

July 29, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Matt Swider / TechRadar

Superheros often come with initiate or mutant powers, but some of our favorite comic book characters also rely on technology to save the world.

Where would Batman be without his utility belt? Could Captain America really carry on without his shield? What would Iron Man be made out of without his life-saving suit?

Google Whiskey Delivery Via Telepresence Robot

July 28, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Barry Schwartz / Search Engine Roundtable

Google's Marvin Chow posted a picture on Google+ of a Telepresence Robot at Google's San Francisco office. The cool part, the Telepresence Robot is delivering whiskey in a red jacket and Mickey Mouse hat to Googlers.

A Quick Reminder That Technology Can Be Wonderful

July 23, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Jon Kelvey / Slate

Museum-lover Henry Evans has been fortunate. Over the past year, he has been able to take one-on-one guided tours of the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, among others. Such museum hopping is not necessarily unusual, of course, but what makes Evans' experience unique is that he was able to stroll through the collections of these institutions while lying supine in his Los Altos Hills home in California.

Evans is a mute quadriplegic. He suffered a stroke in 2002 that left him with minimal powers of movement except for his head, a saving grace that allows him to access the Internet, use a voice synthesizer, and correspond by email via head motions and a special interface. It also allows him to pilot a number of telepresence robots: remotely controlled, mechanical avatars like the Beam, which Evans has used for many of his museum tours. Originally designed by Palo Alto-based manufacturer Suitable Technologies as an alternative to travel for business executives, the Beam is a sleek white machine, with two slender supports rising from a low, wheeled base to hold up a tablet-size screen that displays the user's face. It's the robot Evans uses to address a Washington, D.C., crowd in a popular TEDx video from 2013.

Chinese Technology Company Develops Affordable Telepresence Robot

July 18, 2014 | Telepresence Options


GUANGZHOU, CHINA--When face-to-face communication is impossible, voice with video communication is the next best thing. Now there is a new telepresence robot called PadBot that can represent its user remotely by displaying voice and video in real time, and its creators are seeking crowdfunding to raise $30,000 by August 31 to move the product into mass production.

Using an iPad, iPad Mini or Android Pad as its brain, PadBot is a telepresence robot that can be controlled to angle its head up and down and to move itself freely about the room. PadBot connects with its controlling device wirelessly using Bluetooth 4.0 and with other devices through WiFi or 4G connection. "Our invention enhances communication experiences for both business and personal communication," said PadBot founder Blue Tan. "PadBot serves as your copy when you can't physically be there."

PadBot, a Telepresence Robot. Cool, Fun, Affordable. Buddy for iPad,Android Pad

July 16, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Indiegogo

What is PadBot

PadBot is a telepresence robot. People can use PadBot to represent him/her remotely by showing his/her video, voice and movements in real-time. We can control PadBot to move freely and angle its head upward or downward. PadBot uses iPad/iPad Mini/Android pad as its brain. PadBot connect with iPad via wireless Bluetooth 4.0.

The PadBots communicate with each other by using WiFi/4G connections. This connectivity are already been built into iPad/Android pad. The shape of PadBot looks like a white goose, which is elegant and human friendly. The height of PadBot is around 90 cm. This is suitable for working in indoor environment.

Robotics Pioneer Launches the First Personal Robot You Might Actually Buy

July 16, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by James Temple / Re/code

Cynthia Breazeal wants to take robots out of the lab and into the living room.

The MIT associate professor is widely recognized as a pioneer in social robotics, most famously producing the engaged and friendly faces of Kismet and Leonardo. But now she has formed her own company, Jibo, which has developed a namesake 11-inch tall robot that swivels around on two-axises and roughly resembles a lamp.

Cisco Scoops Up Collaboration Startup Assemblage

July 1, 2014 | Telepresence Options

cisco logo - telepresence options.png

Story by Kristin Bent/CRN

In a bid to capture more opportunities around mobility and the Internet of Things, Cisco Systems acquired Assemblage, a provider of cloud-based collaboration applications.

Financial terms of the deal, which is already complete, were not disclosed.

San Francisco-based Assemblage makes real-time collaboration applications that can be accessed via a Web browser, allowing them to work on any mobile device or platform without the need for any additional downloads, plug-ins or installations.

Assemblage's cloud apps let users share their screens, along with whiteboards and presentations, in real time. They also can work with other third-party cloud services, Cisco said, including those from Box and Google.

In a blog post, Hilton Romanski, senior vice president and head of business development at Cisco, said the Assemblage team will be rolled into Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group.

Audi's Mechanics Will be Assisted by Talking Robots

June 23, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Carrbuzz

The American team of Audi dealers and mechanics will soon have new employees rolling into their shops, as the company deploys a fleet of telepresence robots that'll roam garages and assist in vehicle repairs. On the other end, a remote mechanic will talk with the staff on the premises, diagnosing vehicle issues and offering advice to aid in their repair. The specialist mechanic will remotely control the camera, conducting conversations with the local teams while supervising their work.

My Co-Worker Is a Machine: Telepresence Robots in the Workplace

June 9, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Debra Donston-Miller / Forbes

Earlier this year, Edward Snowden presented at TED2014. Wait... Isn't the NSA whistleblower hiding in an undisclosed location in Russia? And, if so, how did he make it onto the stage in Vancouver, Canada?

Two words: telepresence robot.

How Mobile Robots Fit into Collaboration Sales: 'Not the Future, But Part of the Future'

May 30, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Kelly Teal / Channel Partners

In much the same way as NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover enabled Internet users to explore the Red Planet 140 million miles away, iRobot's Ava 500 self-navigating telepresence robot is enabling enterprise workers to negotiate geographic distances and precarious situations.

Telepresence robots go video conferencing one better, enabling eyes into specific locations where it's not practical or prudent for people to venture in person.

Telemba Turns Your Old Roomba and Tablet Into a Telepresence Robot

May 28, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Erico Guizzo / IEEE Spectrum

Meet Telemba, which its creators say is the "world's cheapest telepresence robot."

Like other telepresence robots, Telemba works as your robotic body at a remote location: using a computer, you can drive Telemba around and interact with people remotely. You see what the robot sees, and you can attend meetings or just hang out with friends.

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