CES Coverage: Anybots QB Telepresence Robot Hands-on
Last week, in line for the good ‘ol Venetian Express at CES, we came across a pretty interesting looking product… what appeared to be a robot.
After a quick chat with the robot’s apparent escorts (read: pimps), we learned that the mysterious device was actually Anybot’s new telepresence device dubbed the QB.
The cyborg, which is geared almost exclusively to the the extremely frequent traveler and business exec, essentially allows you to be somewhere where you physically can’t. Using your web-browser of choice (so yes, it’s Windows and Mac compatible), you control the QB– regardless of whether the site is a conference room across the fruited planes or overseas at your company’s factory in China, the QB will allow you to monitor the surroundings and ensure no funny business is goin’ on.
Thanks to this guy’s internals, which include a WiFi radio (b/g connectivity only), a 5 megapixel camera, a decently-loud speaker, a microphone, and a serious pair of hot wheels that’ll send this thing flyin’ at speeds of up to 3.5 miles per hour, telepresence doesn’t come cheap. In fact, you’ll have to drop a cool $15,000 to own one. But hey, as Ray’s about to point out in the video footage, this thing should pay for itself after about fifteen business trips (assuming each trip costs about a thousand bucks).
Anyways, I highly recommend that you guys check out the video below for a more complete explanation– this innovation very well may be the future of offices across the globe. Oh, and just in case we really piqued your interest with this one, we’ve included the PR jargon.
July 28, 2010 MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)
Making Business Travel Obsolete: Anybots Arrive in November
Anybots Accepting Orders for “100 Club”
* Anybots, maker of telepresence robots, is now taking pre-orders for Anybots QB, the first professional-quality mobile avatar robot.
* This telepresence avatar allows anyone to be in two places at once through a simple web interface.
* The first 100 Anybots pre-ordered will be part of the “100 Club” – owners will:
o Have access to the first 100 Anybots’ serial numbers
o Be invited to a reception at Anybots headquarters
o Get VIP Anybots test drives for themselves and five friends
o Have access to on-going perks as Anybots rolls out additional products and services
o Receive their Anybots starting in November 2010 in the order they were reserved
* Additional pre-orders, beyond the “100 Club,” will be fulfilled in 2011 in the order received.
* Each Anybots QB costs $15,000 – 10 percent, $1,500, will be due upon pre-order with the balance due at time of shipping.
* To be one of the first hundred people to own an Anybot, go to www.anybots.com/preorder.
Anybots in Use:
* CEO Staying Connected – Trevor, the Anybots CEO, took a well-deserved trip to Hawaii and extended his time there because he could jump into his Anybot. With the use of a laptop and headset he was “in the office” while enjoying Hawaii’s beach paradise.
* Receptionist Working from Home – Suzanne is the Anybots receptionist but lives more than 60 miles away from the office. Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn and dealing with the brutal morning commute, Suzanne teleports into her Anybot avatar to greet company visitors and manage office activities from the comfort of her home. The Anybots team relies on Suzanne as their “virtual receptionist” to provide a friendly atmosphere to those who enter.
* Anytime, Anywhere Factory Tours – A manufacturer for the semiconductor industry used an Anybot to give factory tours while at a recent trade-show. This manufacturer also allows their customers to view inventory, witness factory operations, and attend to problems by jumping into the Anybot with one click. With an Anybot, factory staff feel less like they’re being spied (as with traditional mounted surveillance cameras), and feel more like their customer is on the floor with them.
* Luminary in Two Places at Once – Stephen Wolfram attended a conference across the country when long-distance travel was not an option based on commitments at home. Attendees felt his professional but friendly robotics presence as he glided around the stage – and, with the high-quality, low-latency audio, Stephen could have real-time conversations with attendees.
* Attributable to Trevor Blackwell, Founder & CEO, Anybots
Anyone who has ever wished they could be two places at once will appreciate the Anybots avatar experience. Turning the headache of a busy travel schedule into a one-click commute will change the way work and collaboration happens. The Anybots team and our early beta customers have all found teleporting into a location to be such a convenient and enjoyable experience – it’ll be fun to see how the rest of the world uses the product.
* Attributable to Bob Christopher, President & COO, Anybots
Mobile telepresence avatars are ideal for office environments – you can physically be there but do it from anywhere with an internet connection. It’s no wonder that the most innovative companies – from the Fortune 100 to cutting-edge startups – are evaluating telepresence avatars for collaborating and communication.
* Attributable to Stephen Wolfram, Founder & CEO, Wolfram Research
I’ve been doing videoconferencing for years, but the mobility of “being a robot” was interesting. It was surprisingly useful to be able to wander around an office as an Anybot. And attending a reception as a robot, people seemed to get used to “me” surprisingly quickly.
About Anybots Telepresence Robot:
* High quality audio and clear, stabilized-video for a great interactive experience
* Runs on two wheels at 3.5 mph to keep up with groups of people
* Anybots are very safe, its two wheel drive prevents it from damaging walls or other objects
* Collision avoidance technology guides the Anybot around obstacles, such as doors
* Lightweight (35 pounds) to be easily pushed, carried or adjusted to fit in a car seat
* Professional and friendly appearance so people pay attention and take you seriously
* No expensive installation, just Wi-Fi and a computer
* Able to stand in a corner when idle and charging
* Can be shared among several company users at a time
* Eight hours of battery life
* Supports 802.11g Wi-Fi
* Mac-ready for beta testing and will be PC-ready at ship date
* Five megapixel high-resolution video camera
* 3.5 mph normal cruise speed
Anybots is a telerobotics company that offers a one-click way to work with others from anywhere. With Anybots, users are no longer geographically constrained and can jump from place to place with a click of the mouse. With Anybots’ web-based interface, collaboration can happen at light speed without the cost and wasted time of business travel. Anybots can also be personalized to match the people they represent. Anybots was founded in 2001 by Trevor Blackwell, PhD, and is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information, please visit www.anybots.com.