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 …

COMMENTS

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just wondering...

    ...how does it go up stairs?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Its worse than that ...

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

      1. Ian 5
        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.

    2. Buzzword

      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.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Just wondering...

      > ...how does it go up stairs?

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

  2. Ikoth
    FAIL

    Mad...

    ...as a box of frogs.

  3. Ian Bremner

    Sheldon

    Didn't this appear on The Big Bang Theory?

    1. Tank boy

      Re: Sheldon

      Yes it did.

    2. TheOnlyMTM

      Re: Sheldon

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

    4. Andrew Moore
      Thumb Up

      Re: Sheldon

      "Nice Remote Telepresence Unit"- Steve Wozniak

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    WTF?

    Great idea.

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

    1. K
      Facepalm

      Re: Great idea.

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

  5. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    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" :)

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      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

    2. Graham Marsden
      Happy

      @Phil O'Sophical...

      "please reboot me"

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

  6. Stewart Atkins

    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"

  7. TheOnlyMTM

    At last, the Shelbot!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    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)

  9. Petr0lhead
    Thumb Up

    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?

  10. JulianB
    FAIL

    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.

  11. Richard Wharram

    What happens?

    When I'm having a dump?

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

  12. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  13. BadFish

    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.

  14. SMFSubtlety

    Ivan Anywhere - been there done that!

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

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

  15. TheRealRoland
    Meh

    Kinda old news?

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

  16. Securitymoose

    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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