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Robot Receptionists Could Steal Your Boring Job

February 8, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
robot_receptionist_QB.jpgFebruary 7, 2012 by Blaire Briody via -- When entering an office, most people are accustomed to being greeted by a warm, smiling person that makes them feel welcome.  Not anymore.

Anybots, the Silicon Valley start-up known for its telepresence robot called "QB", is offering a new service called AnyLobby that will provide a telepresence staff to greet guests.

Anybots started offering QB for individual sale in 2010 and people have already used it to work remotely, order and pick up food, and many other activities. It can move around by remote control and uses sophisticated mobile videoconferencing hardware to communicate with people around it.

The new receptionist service costs about $2,400 a month and includes a full-time telepresence staff provided by Anybots. Anybots says QB can scan faxes and print documents, but doesn't have arms, so it can't sign for a package when it arrives. However, one company found a creative solution -- they set up a protocol for it to "Call Bob when there's a package." The human on the other end can be physically located anywhere and only needs a reliable Internet connection. One human can control multiple QBs and therefore be in many places at once, potentially saving companies a lot of money - and yes, putting receptionists out of a job.

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