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back to article Rolling robot avatar trumps telecommuting

Telecommuting just became soooooo twentieth century, thanks to a new oddity called the 'Beam Remote Presence Device' (BRPD, depicted below) that offers you the chance to beam you mug onto the seventeen-inch monitor atop a five-foot robot intended to roll around an office. The new bot comes from an outfit called Suitable …

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Anonymous Coward

Just wondering...

...how does it go up stairs?

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Its worse than that ...

It doesn't even have a sink plunger and an egg whisk.

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Re: Just wondering...

It should be able to use the lift, as long as it has a robot arm to press the buttons. A wheelchair-bound person would face the same problems.

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Go

Re: Its worse than that ...

Yeah, but imagine the fun the office-bound flunkies can have with sellotape, cardboard boxes and aforementioned instuments of human extermination. It wouldn't last long looking as minimalist as that in our office - FOV games would have it properly dressed without the home-worker schmuck having a clue. 10:1 says it would have deelie boppers before it rolled 6 inches.

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Coat

Re: Just wondering...

> ...how does it go up stairs?

Dunno, but I'll bet it falls down them really spectacularly...

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FAIL

Mad...

...as a box of frogs.

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Sheldon

Didn't this appear on The Big Bang Theory?

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Re: Sheldon

Yes it did.

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Re: Sheldon

it's called the Shelbot. Better than BRPD. Looks exactly the same though.

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Re: Sheldon

Actually I'm pretty sure the BOFH and PFY had a run in with something slightly more autonomous, but otherwise a similar concept ... they'd have fun with this thing I'd imagine.

It was the first thing that sprang to mind, shows how little I watch and how much I read.

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Re: Sheldon

"Nice Remote Telepresence Unit"- Steve Wozniak

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WTF?

Great idea.

I've always wanted to look like a 'please queue here' sign...

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K
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Facepalm

Re: Great idea.

Send it to queue for you.. would be great at Alton Towers..

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There were some stories on devices like this a few years ago in IEEE Spectrum:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/robotics/humanoids/the-reality-of-robot-surrogates/1

http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/051810-anybots-qb-new-telepresence-robot

As I remember, the writer of one of the articles said that it had led to an embarassingly intimate moment when he had to phone his boss and ask him "please reboot me" :)

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Daily Wail was writing about this over a month ago

This one's extra cool cos it sits on a Segway:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2190883/The-iPad-robot-let-world--leaving-living-room.html

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Happy

@Phil O'Sophical...

"please reboot me"

Was that sign stuck on the back of the bot...?

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Here's hoping it's intelligent enough to be able to navigate on it's own to find a signal if it loses it (the article says it uses 'wireless' although whether that's normal wi-fi or something specific to the device), if not can see people at work getting phone calls saying "my robot's stuck again, can you wheel it back out of the black spot for me please"

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At last, the Shelbot!

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Anonymous Coward

Holly

Why am I thinking Holly from the Red Dwarf episode Queeg 500 right now? (Needs the screen replacing with a CRT and a light adding though)

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Multi-tasking

Why not combine it with a Roomba for those employees that seem to spend their lives wandering around and never at their desks?

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Not convinced

Firstly, I'm not convinced that having this thing wandering around the office talking to my colleagues while I'm at home is any better than me phoning or instant-messaging them. But let's accept that it is.

What then if a colleague in the office while I'm at home wants to talk to me? Do they have to find my bot? Presumably they'll bypasss it and call me direct anyway.

Part of my reason for working at home is that I have colleagues in various offices in at least five countries (as, of course, do those colleagues). So we each need a bot in each office. Unless we all decide to work from home and have one central physical office somewhere in a cheap part of the globe entirely staffed by bots and bot-maintenance technicians.

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What happens?

When I'm having a dump?

Does it still sit at my desk showing my face in various states of concentration?

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Anonymous Coward

practicalities always get in the way

We have several office doors where a badge is required for access, and tailgating is a potential problem. I think the range of movement of such a 'bot would be severely limited if it couldn't be trusted with a badge.

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Good for remote support

I remember wanting something like this when doing remote support, so that I could follow the operators around and make sure they reset the right machine, or loaded the right tape.

All that is missing is the remote arm with cattle-prod attached for "encouraging" slower operators.

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Ivan Anywhere - been there done that!

a colleague in Canada came up with this around 2005 to 2007.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IvanAnywhere

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Meh

Kinda old news?

http://forums.reghardware.com/forum/1/2011/10/28/boss_leaves_droid_in_charge_of_office/

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Better than life?

Replace the structure with a tailor's dummy, motors to make the limbs move, and the eyes with small cameras and we can all have the body we have always wanted without even getting out of bed?

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