The Double, as the company calls it, looks like an ultra-simple robot that can navigate a far-off place through two iPads. One acts as the robot’s eyes and ears, and the other controls it through an iPad application.
In a video showing a demonstration of the new robot, the Double can be seen attending a meeting in an office. Later, a couple sitting on a couch controls a Double that is looking at artwork in a museum.
It seems to pair perfectly with the iPad, and it looks so slick. It’s as if Apple designed the robot itself.
“Double is the simplest, most elegant way to be somewhere else in the world without flying there,” the company said on its Web site. “You can stay at eye level, whether sitting or standing, by adjusting your height remotely, which makes conversations fluid and real.”
In my Disruptions column last week, Steve Cousins, Willow Garage’s president and chief executive, predicted that telepresence robots would be the first robots to become mainstream.