The world people live in today is filled with fast-paced changes and transformations that demand a lot not only from one’s work but also from his time and effort to be on the same page as everyone is. There are demands from work that sometimes people do not have the time to attend themselves, which is why they hire assistants or make use of calls and video conferences. With telepresence making its way through the ranks, the telepresence robot has also made its way into the market. In this article, one will be able to read (1) a brief overview of telepresence (which is the concept behind the popular telepresence robot); (2) the definition; (3) how it works; (4) the benefits of using a telepresence robot; and (5) the top manufacturing companies that produce telepresence robots.
The Telepresence Robot: A Brief Overview of Telepresence
Telepresence is a term used to refer to a technology which allows for realistic HD interaction between people in remote locations. Not to be confused with video conferencing, telepresence makes use of HD video images along with high-fidelity sounds. To have a dedicated telepresence system, one should make sure that the images being projected are in full HD, broadcast quality and that the sounds of voices coming in are crisp and clean, resulting in a conversation between two distant parties to appear realistic and on-the-spot despite the fact of the other party being in another location. Usually, the effectiveness of a telepresence system depends on the right kind of equipment. The telepresence robot is also outfitted with the same technology, only it was made to have mobility features.
The Telepresence Robot: Definition
A telepresence robot, or a telebot for short, is a machine on which is fitted screens, cameras, microphones, and speakers and allows remote people to still have interaction with their colleagues on-site. By using their computer, a person can easily steer a telepresence robot around a workplace either to attend important meetings or to make regular inspections around the worksite.
The idea behind the creation of the telepresence robot is to make it socially acceptable and less clumsy around the workplace. Most manufacturing companies are coming up with newer models which have the ability to display gestures and facial expressions better through larger screens. This makes the telepresence robot more ideal and better for two-way communication.
The Telepresence Robot: How It Works
Since a telepresence robot works the same way as a full-fledged telepresence system does, it also also allows it users to connect to it via an internet connection. An effective telepresence robot enables its users to manage conference calls and company walkthroughs efficiently and conveniently through a personal computer no matter where they are located. However, its function lies not only in its capability to include its users in conference calls and allow them to remotely view images of their workplace; it also allows users to have their very own virtual presence in the workplace. The operator can also direct the movements of the camera to allow viewing of multiple people in a room. Some telepresence robots are also equipped with added functionality through the installment of laser pointers that are also controlled by the operator.
The Telepresence Robot: The Benefits
Although more expensive than a regular dedicated telepresence system, there are reasons why the use of a reliable telepresence robot is more preferable than the more common videoconferencing. These machines can cost up to $40,000 yet high-end corporations both in the medical and educational field have employed the use of these machines.
Today, the more practical solution for businesses that aim to reduce travel costs is videoconferencing. A telepresence robot is also made for the same objective, but it offers three big benefits that generate interest among potential users.
(1) Mobility in the workplace – Since it is a robot, users would have the experience to leave the conference room during meeting breaks. It also provides an effective way to remotely wander around the workplace and interact with co-workers.
(2) Virtual Presence – People displayed in telepresence screens may look HD and life size yet lack the 3D feature that can be experienced using a telepresence robot. One will be able to interact with people as though they are there in person. As this type of technology pervades, these robots are starting to be more realistic in appearance and are being constructed to be anatomically correct.
(3) Better work quality and compliance – There are some factories which need constant supervision and inspection. Most of the environments around factories require people to use hard hats and are usually time consuming, dangerous, and would even require travel costs to visit. A telepresence robot allows remote managers or employers to inspect things visually without the need to compromise work time for travel time.
The Telepresence Robot: Companies
Here are companies that are known for producing quality telepresence robots.
(1) Anybots – this company is known to be at the forefront of Virtual Presence. It is a communications company which is also the leading provider of Virtual Presence Systems to different types of clients.
(2) VGo Communications – this company develops telepresence robots for education, healthcare institutions, and for the workplace. It was founded by veterans who are successful in the field of robotics and visual communications industries.
(3) Suitable Technologies – a fairly new company which aims to fulfill its mission to connect separated people through the technology of telepresence.
(4) iRobot – another pioneer in the industry of robotics, iRobot aims to build and design robots that would make a difference.
Telepresence robots provide a unique and innovative way of providing virtual presence to those who need to be away from the workplace for a while. Although it is much expensive than the usual dedicated telepresence systems, its added cool factor and the three benefits stated earlier make the telepresence robot a good choice for those who have the means to invest in it. In a world where virtual presence is the only way to cut travel costs without compromising quality work time, telepresence robots can help get work done.