In our previous post we looked at socially engaging robots and how they are helping to break down barriers to remote presence. Another area on the fringe of telepresence is service robots. These robots operate autonomously, but have the ability to be controlled in telepresence mode when the need arises. The symbiosis between robot and machine allows these robots to take care of easier things, while allowing humans to take over when it needs help. As autonomy improves, the bar moves higher and higher.
Robots are great for doing dull, dirty, and dangerous jobs, and few jobs are more dangerous and downright dull (at times) than waiting in line to buy the latest tech gadget. Last week in Palo Alto, California, and in Sydney, Australia, telepresence devices stood in for their human counterparts to buy the iPhone 6S.
RoboBusiness 2013, held last week at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley, was a revitalized example of previous RoboBusiness events. Throughout the three-day event, there was renewed energy, attentiveness and excitement for the broad business of robotics. It was easy to see that EH Publishing, the producer of the event, had invested heavily in making the show the success that it was.
For many years now Willow Garage has invested in open source and open platform robotics. Their goal has been a reflection of the vision of it’s founder (and chief funder) to advance the state of robotic technology in autonomous devices.And advance the state of robotics it certainly did!