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Beam into RoboBusiness

October 17, 2013


Do you want to attend a robot expo via robot? You can reserve time on a Beam from Suitable Technologies and roam around the RoboBusiness expo on October 24. The expo is part of the RoboBusiness Leadership Summit, which is happening in Silicon Valley on Oct 23-25 and gathers together industry executives, researchers and enthusiasts from across all of the different robotics market segments. The exhibition will open early on Thursday to accommodate Beam-only attendees and rental is only $50 if you sign up by October 21.

This offer should be of interest not just to global travellers who can’t afford the time or expense of a trip to Silicon Valley, but also to members of US government departments, like NASA, who have been hit hard by sequestrations and the uncertainty around the US budget. However, the offer is open to everyone in the robotics community, with the goal of encouraging broader discussions that will promote innovation and commercialization in robotics.

There are more than 50 vendors in the expo and conference keynote speakers include Chris Urmson, Director of Google’s Self-Driving Cars project, Dan Kara, Chief Research Officer at Myria RAS and Henrik Christensen, KUKA Chair of Robotics at Georgia Tech, speaking on robotics trends in general. Presentation tracks range from business issues, new markets and applications, starting your robot startup, robot design and development, and enabling technologies.

But has ‘beaming’ become a tech verb yet? It’s a brave marketing choice, when ‘beaming’ can mean glowing with happiness, but is also competing with our beloved Star Trek reference, “Beam me up, Scotty”.

On the Beam [via]

The remotely-piloted Beam bot runs Robot Operating System (ROS) plus low-latency Skype-like video conferencing software on top of an Ubuntu-based embedded OS. Built around an Intel Core i3 processor, the 62-inch tall Beam is equipped with a 17-inch display with a 3:4 aspect ratio.

Users can remotely control the Beam via WiFi or 4G LTE cellular connections, viewing whatever the bot sees through its overhead and navigational cameras. Videoconferences are two way, and are supported with a six-microphone array and speakers.To ensure privacy, no recording of video or audio is allowed.

The two-wheeled Beam can travel up to 1.5 meters/sec, and offers differential steering with stabilizing casters. It can operate on batteries for up to eight hours, says Suitable Tech. Beam pricing starts at $16,000.

For more background and details on the Beam, read our detailed earlier report on the device. More information on the Suitable Technologies Beam promotion, as well as registration may be found at the Suitable Technologies website. More on the robot show may be found at the RoboBusiness website.

Andra Keay
Core Team Member & Robotics Industry Futurist
Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.

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