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by   -   November 20, 2015
Credit: iRobot
Credit: iRobot

Telemedicine is a rapidly growing field and, with the aid of telepresence robots, is quickly gaining traction in hospitals and homes around the world.

by   -   October 21, 2015


Business class telepresence is where high tech meets high price. Typically starting at $3,000 USD, often with a monthly service fee, these robots are a lot more than just tablets on a stick.

by   -   October 9, 2015

Telepresence robots have been around since the early 2000s, with a research project called PEBBLES out of Ryerson University in Toronto. When I first started covering this area a little over three years ago, there were only a handful of products available. Since then, the market has exploded, with a slew of robots ranging from the table-top Kubi and the sleek Double to the highly advanced Ava 500. They’ve also been on the move, heading out of the office, attending conferences, and touring museums. In this series I’ll be updating you on telepresence as is stands today, the various market categories, and where the field is headed.

by   -   September 29, 2015
Using a BeamPro, Brianna Lempesis waits in line to buy an iPhone6s from the Apple Store in downtown Palo Alto. Photo: Suitable Technologies.
Using a BeamPro, Brianna Lempesis waits in line to buy an iPhone6s from the Apple Store in downtown Palo Alto. Photo: Suitable Technologies.

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. 

by   -   July 19, 2015

Vecnas-new-product-lineup_800_284_80Vecna, a growing robotic mobility provider for hospitals and warehouses, acquired VGo, a provider of mobile telepresence devices, for an undisclosed amount.

by   -   June 29, 2015

For those with extreme mobility problems, such as paralysis following spinal cord injury or neurological disease, telepresence can greatly help to offset social isolation. However, controlling a mobile telepresence device through obstacles like doorways can be difficult when fine motor skills have been compromised. Researchers from CNBI, EPFL and NCCR Robotics this week published a cunning solution that uses brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to enable patients to share control with the robot, making it far easier to navigate.

by   -   May 22, 2015

iPetCompanioniPetCompanion have developed telepresence technology that allows you to manipulate toys so you can play with your pets while you’re away. The team has installed the system in hospitals and animal shelters to connect sick kids to homeless pets in need of interaction. Now they are crowdfunding on Kickstarter to bring a consumer version into people’s homes. 

by   -   May 20, 2015

Kubi_Revolve_RoboticsRevolve Robotics and Swymed have collaborated to create a HIPAA compliant telepresence device called Kubi that can stream medical data. This compliance is a big deal: no longer do MDs have to rely only upon what they see, or think they see, to make a diagnosis; they can use data streaming directly to the app to help make decisions. In smaller rural hospitals or even in ambulances, where a specialist cannot be physically there, this is going to be the best alternative.

by ,   -   February 17, 2015

UPDATE 30/27/15 Thanks to all our supporters – especially our partner, Robohub! We surpassed our funding goal with time to spare! Now with just days remaining, we are hoping to reach our stretch goal (unlocked at $25,000). We will be offering backers a choice of 5 colors for all 3D printed parts. We can’t wait to get ORIGIBOTs into the hands of many users and get our community going. Remember: ORIGIBOT’s potential is almost limitless due to our use of standard components including Arduino and android – users can add sensors, modify code, and create their own apps for increased functionality.

by   -   April 26, 2014

Have you ever wanted to attend a conference that was too far away, expensive, or sold out? Whether you’re a penniless researcher, interested youth, or a group of elderly people who want to live in other people’s bodies (like in that weird movie Being John Malkovich), your wish may be granted.

The People’s Bot is a project by Chelsea Barabas and Nathan Mathias from MIT’s Center for Civic Media that uses telepresence robots for the public good.

by ,   -   March 19, 2014


Chris Anderson interviews Edward Snowden, who appears at TED 2014 in Vancouver via BEAM telepresence robot from an unknown location in Russia.

Travel in some parts of the world, or for some people, can be dangerous, but robots may soon change that. Yesterday former-NSA-contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden “walked” onto the TED stage in Vancouver via BEAM telepresence robot, while safely stationed out of the US government’s reach in Russia. It was the first time Snowden, who was granted temporary asylum by the Russian government last August, had “set foot” in North America since he was charged with espionage and theft of government property by the US government. Said Snowden from his onstage perch: “I can see everyone! This is amazing!” How will lawmakers respond?

by   -   March 19, 2014



Edward Snowden BEAMed into a TED Talk earlier this week with attention-grabbing headlines. With much less fanfare, this writer participated in a panel in Lyon, France while physically stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, also using a BEAM.

by   -   March 14, 2014


Are telepresence robots really robotic? Is the da Vinci robotic surgical system robotic? Is a car with adaptive cruise control acting robotically? Well … no to all three questions.

All three are borderline cases and examples of robotics in a transition state and being affected by two converging robotics-related trends:

  • Toward more capable and lower-cost robots, and
  • Towards physically-responsive smart devices.
by ,   -   March 12, 2014

Astronauts all know how important it is to stay healthy in space. Weightlessness alone can cause a number of physiological changes including muscle atrophy, loss of blood volume and bone loss. Most astronauts complete medical training, which equips them with the skills to perform procedures such as first aid and basic surgery. But what happens if there’s an emergency and no medical expert to assist?

by   -   January 21, 2014

Suitable Technologies just announced their new Beam+ remote presence robot and is offering the first 1,000 units at a price of $995 (thereafter it will be $1,995). First shipments are scheduled for Summer, 2014.

Mobility Transformation Facility
November 28, 2014

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