MacNN | Hands on: Double Robotics' telepresence robot for iPad
Mac News Network View: Standard | Headlines | Categorized | Slim
Mac News Network
Mac News iPod News Reviews Forums
 

Desktop Headlines
Hands on: Double Robotics' telepresence robot for iPad
Saturday, February 2, 2013 @ 8:21pm

A necessary byproduct of living in the future as we do appears to be the occasional bit of tech that is simultaneously very cool and remarkably impractical. Normally retailing for $2,500, and requiring the investment of at least another $500 to function, Double Robotics' Double telepresence robot fits squarely into that category. It is pretty fun to watch, though.



The Double is a sleekly designed set of motorized wheels with an extensible iPad stand, sort of like a Segway for your favorite Apple device. In theory, a user attaches one iPad to the Double, leaves it wherever they can't/won't/don't want to be in the near future, and when it comes time to interact with people remotely fires up another iPad to control the Double. The iPad's front-facing camera allows a user's face to show on the screen of the iPad attached to the Double, and the device has an accompanying iPad app that allows a user to control the device's motion. In action, the Double is entertaining to watch, and it seems really well engineered. The demonstrator would occasionally push the Double to show its ability to maintain its balance. It moves and turns quickly, and the variable height of the attached pole also controllable by iPad means you can look people in the eye from a remote location. Here's the thing, though: watching the demonstration over the course of about five minutes, I overheard several people either leaving the display or passing by say something to the effect of "That's really cool, but what would it be good for?" Double's page for the device says it would be applicable in offices for remote teams, school campuses, manufacturing facilities, and so forth. It also raises the possibility of families using the device "to stay more in touch" and retail stores using it as a mobile kiosk. Considering the two-iPad requirement and the necessity of using one iPad to pilot the device, how useful it might actually be is up to interpretation. It's also just the slightest bit creepy. There's just something about a face on a screen, gliding toward you on what looks like a Segway. Still, the Double secured a Best of Show nod at Macworld, and for good reason: it's a well-designed and functional device. It may still be a solution in search of a problem, but, again, it's very fun to watch. Reposted with permission from AppleInsider

Comments on this Article
Print Friendly Version
Email to a Friend
Add MacNN to Your RSS Feeds
Buy from the Apple Store


Related Stories:

Today's MacNN Stories:

  • T-Mobile CEO launches $100 four-line promotion, attacks AT&T - 12:08 PM EST
  • Apple 'close' to buying radio app Swell for $30M, sources say - 11:23 AM EST
  • European Commission approves Apple acquisition of Beats - 10:08 AM EST
  • Uber closes Javascript hack exposing driver review of passengers - 9:40 AM EST
  • New MacBook Pros could be released on Tuesday - 9:20 AM EST
  • Sign in Chinese store may show next-gen Retina MacBook Pro specs - 2:16 AM EST

    Today's iPodNN Stories:
  • Amazon opens 3D printing store with curated list of customizable items - 7:52 AM EST
  • Mayor promises 5G mobile network across London by 2020 - 6:19 AM EST
  • LG G Vista leak claims 5.7-inch display, mid-range specifications - 5:45 AM EST
  • Briefly: PS4 3D Blu-ray support, Amazon card reader speculation - 6:14 PM EST
  • Maingear launches Pulse 15, 15-inch gaming notebook with 3K display - 1:50 PM EST
  • No comments posted on this story yet. Please post yours.
    Your Comments
    In order to post comments, you must be a registered member of the MacNN Forums and logged in. Please login with your MacNN Forums username and password.

    MacNN Forums Login:

    MacNN Forums Password:

    Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.