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Telepresence

Robonaut 2 will receive its legs early next year (Image: NASA)

NASA’s Robonaut 2 (R2) isn't half the robot it used to be. On Monday, the space agency released images and video showing new legs that will be added to the robot assistant currently working aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The currently upper-body-only R2 will receive its new limbs early next year.  Read More

SociBot-Mini, on display in Tokyo

Full-bodied humanoid robots are undeniably fascinating, but why pay for the lower part of the body if you don't need it? For that matter, why pay for the arms if you don't need them, either? That's the thinking behind the SociBot and SociBot-Mini interactive robots, which we just "met" at the International Robotics Exhibition.  Read More

GiraffPlus is an assisted living system for the elderly

GiraffPlus is an EU-funded project that uses telepresence technology to monitor the elderly in their own homes. The system has already been tested in a demo apartment in Örebro, Sweden. Now GiraffPlus is being taken further afield to be tested in real homes in Sweden, Italy and Spain.  Read More

The iRobot Ava 500 in an informal conversation

Business grows more global everyday and what was once done by a single corporation is now more likely to be spread over many small businesses. Ideally, managers and remotely-based employees would like a virtual presence at a location, but telepresence robots are often more like smartphones on remote-controlled sticks, so they lack a feeling of personal presence and naturalism. At the InfoComm 2013 Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida, iRobot, in collaboration with Cisco, have unveiled the Ava 500; a telepresence robot that combines auto navigation and a high-definition screen for a more natural telepresence.  Read More

The IBM maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) (Photo: IBM)

If you've ever tried typing while talking to technical support with the phone crammed between ear and shoulder, then you know the meaning of frustration. Now imagine doing that upside down inside an airplane wing while juggling wires, crimps and a schematic printout. For some field engineers, that sort of thing is an everyday occurrence, so IBM in collaboration with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in the UK is developing a mobile maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) prototype robot. It's a combination of a smartphone app and a camera/projector mounted on a robot arm, that allows supervisors and experts to have a more active presence on the job.  Read More

OriHime was designed with a simple mask-like face allowing it to fit in with most any deco...

Ironically, humanoid robots may have to put aside their arms and legs if they're to gain a foothold in our daily lives. All those servos required to power multiple limbs can get expensive, they quickly drain the robot's batteries, and cause all sorts of problems if even one of them breaks. Eschewing this complexity leaves you with just a head and torso, a compromise adopted by several prospective household robots. Among those is a new communication robot by Waseda University's Ory Lab, launching later this year.  Read More

RP-VITA in action

iRobot has announced that its RP-VITA autonomous remote presence robot, co-developed by InTouch Health, has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in hospitals.  Read More

The HealthSpot Station

Telepresence physicians have been predicted since Hugo Gernsback foresaw the “radio doctor” in the 1920s. HealthSpot of Dublin, Ohio takes this idea a step further with its HealthSpot Station. It’s a telepresence kiosk that acts as an alternative to the traditional doctor’s office.  Read More

The Ikei Laboratory's virtual body technology

Despite improvements in telepresence, most virtual “traveling” amounts to little more than staring at a screen and listening to headphones. In an effort to bring the other three sense to bear, the Ikei Laboratory at the Tokyo Metropolitan University Graduate School of System Design is developing what it calls “virtual body technology.” Unveiled at the Digital Contents Expo 2012 in Tokyo last October, the system claims to use all five senses to provide an immersive virtual experience akin to inhabiting another person’s body.  Read More

Revolve Robotics has developed an interactive tablet stand allowing you to pan and tilt du...

The burgeoning telepresence market continues to gather steam with Revolve Robotics the latest venture to introduce a low-cost telepresence system through crowd-funding. But unlike the others, KUBI (Japanese for "neck") is mainly stationary. It's essentially a tablet stand that can hold a tablet in portrait or landscape mode and allows the caller to remotely pan and tilt the tablet to change their point of view.  Read More

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