Communication between individuals at great distances has progressed from postal mail to the telephone to email and finally video conferencing or telepresence. Telepresence has grown to encompass more technologies than simply video conferencing. Speaking with another person remotely has become so sophisticated that it does not feel like the other person is far away. Despite physical separation, communication can take place as if the two parties were in the same room.
Improvements in the field of robotics has now brought telepresence to a new level. Robotic telepresence promises an entirely new way of talking with coworkers, family members or friends and acquaintances at a distance. What the concept boils down to is a robot carrying around a video camera, a LCD screen and a microphone. The robot walks around with the human person regardless of location.
The Mechanics of Robotic Telepresence
The robots themselves would be quite simple, almost like a short pole on wheels with a ensemble of devices mounted at the top. They would have enough programmed intelligence to avoid objects, go around corners and monitor their external environment. The robots could be designed with aesthetic concerns in mind.
The essential purpose of robotic telepresence is to make up for an actual human not being present for whatever reason. A common application is in the medical field. Limited supplies of doctors combined with a great number of patients means robotic telepresence can raise physicians’ productivity without having to be physically present at each bedside.
Side Note: There are tons of companies out there who are able to create these robotic telepresence machines for you. If you need to be somwhere, and and have to be able to see different areas of the place you need to be at, then these machines are what you need to get the job done. Do a few Google searches and you will be able to find all of the different companies that provide this service.
The impact on business would be profound. Workers would be able to perform manufacturing jobs remotely. An MIT Technology Review article foresaw the potential for greatly expanded pools of labor available from across the globe. (1) Remote working could intensify competition for jobs previously not thought susceptible to automation.
Office work would also be altered beyond recognition. Remote telepresence through robots would force major changes on routine jobs like clerical or secretarial work. Robotic telepresence is still an infant technology, but commercially available robots can be had for a price between $4,000 and $8,000 per month, depending on the robot.
Article by Jet Russell. Jet is a part time guest blogger and loves contributing when he can on all sorts of topics ranging from