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Telepresence Robots @ Cool Product Expo

10 January 2014 7 Comments

Telepresence Robots @ Cool Product Expo
8640552285 8585ae8452 Telepresence Robots @ Cool Product Expo

Image by jurvetson
An iPad on wheels from Double Robotics (on stage now at SRI).

Like many of the innovations at the Cool Product Expo (examples below), it leverages the package of technologies embedded in smart mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone.

They are adding prosthetics to the brain in the box.

pixel Telepresence Robots @ Cool Product Expo


  • jurvetson said:

    Revolve Robotics, for teleconferencing… just put the pad on a motorized-swivel on the tabletop:

    Notice the iPhone embedded in this gTar… to fetch music from the cloud and light up the frets for a lesson

    The greeting card is recognized and then augmented with a dancing 3D robot on screen:

    Chris Anderson, CEO, 3D Robotics; former Editor-in-Chief of Wired just finished a talk on using cell phone technology to build inexpensive commercial drones:

    “There is something magic going on in your pocket. It’s the peace dividend of the smart phone wars. We don’t do anything hard ourselves.”

    “With a $90 drone, they don’t have to come back. You can double their range when they don’t have to come back. You can waste drones to get the job done. That’s what we did in Silicon Valley with transistors, and now we can do it with robotics.”

    Snooping on the entire room, with 360° pano stitched together from four GoPro cams (by Stealth HD):

    big in Japan

    Bizarre Instagram mini-projectors from Projecteo…

    Keyboards too, from Celluon in Korea

    and to serve with those killer apps….Party Robotics mixing drinks!
    They take medical pumps and modify them to get precise feedback on dispensing amounts, with the iPad for drink selection and control.

  • Chucil said:

    Thank you for sharing!
    The top photo reminds me of Sheldon Cooper.

  • scleroplex said:


  • rocketmavericks said:

    OK. So we got to get a Bartendro 15 for Mavericks this summer. Can you forward contact info?

    By the way. are you going to LDRS?

  • js.brain said:

    Very cool… Seeing the value of the iPhones on toys

  • seatonsnet said:

    When I was a child, in the 1950s, I spent many a summer in my grandmother’s tiny village about 1/2 hour from Hannibal Missouri on the Illinois side of the Big Muddy.

    Neighbors would come into your house without knocking… they’d suddenly be there without any warning… there was no privacy and you had to be very careful what you were seen doing and what you said to anyone about anything… in no time at all all your doings and sayings would be all over town. The telephone was even a "party line", so there was no privacy there either….

    We seem to be recreating this scenario with the new technology.

    Is this what Marshall McLuhan meant by the "Global Village"? … Complete with global "old wives"?

  • jurvetson said:

    Yes… the McLuhanesque recapitulation in the new media…

    They had a couple of these little Romo toys scooting around the SRI after party:


    When I took the controls, I found that I had to keep the camera pointed horizontal to the ground to get around and avoid hitting people’s shoes and boots… but then I had to look up to see where I was… and right up someone’s skirt… Oops! Luckily she was an employee.

    And then we ambushed the InTouch robot/CEO from behind…

    Stay InTouch

    P.S. From the earlier talks on how Robots Remake the Workplace, here are some quotes that I liked:

    “Computers democratized access to information. Robots democratize access to quality.” — Rich Mahoney, Director of Robotics, SRI International

    “Low cost manufacturing is not stable; it’s moved around for 60 years” and “From our ethnographic studies, we learned that factory workers don’t want their kids to work in the factory. There are no replacement workers coming.” — Rodney Brooks, Founder and CTO of Rethink Robotics

    And Sten posted some great notes on all the speakers, including some paraphrased from me on stage:

    • Robotics are like generalised AI as an investment category – it would have been fun to invest in this over the last 20 years, but it feels only now that Moore’s Law is getting us to a place where all these opportunities truly emerge as investable.

    • The reasons why you should have kept away from robotics as an investor have been the same as they used to be for cars, rockets, etc – It’s capital intensive, complex to understand, etc. All of that is changing – you can now think of them as software with a little hardware on the side. Much of everything becomes dematerialised.

    • If you asked people here to name the 2 most innovative automotive companies in the world, you’d probably hear Tesla and Google. Who is the third?

    • Human-replacement ROI seems most obvious, but you’ll often find that customers actually have better reasons to buy robots (fast scaling, inability to hire…)

    • it would be absurd to think that we should pull Excel out of organisations, because we would create more jobs when people tabulated numbers manually again.

    And SRI posted a video of my panel.

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