Author Topic: Discussion: Teleporting yourself with the telepresence robot rental service  (Read 2494 times)

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Offline robot_loverTopic starter

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The robotic technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Though there is rapid adoption of robots in the industry, but on the consumer side we have still not seen any major product(other than quadcopters and iRobot ) which has penetrated the mass consumer market. I wonder if this is because of the fact that most robotic companies are trying to make robots and then come up with a problem which that robot can solve. Thus they are not solving any actual real world problem.

I have been studying about telepresence robots for a while and have even built an expressive telepresence robot( ).  I have started coming across people who are asking to rent telepresence robot or companies which are renting telepresence robot at events. Recently, through google ads I came across this service called Splinch ( ), which claims to deliver robots at any event in US. From the page it looks like they are still in a very early stage.

The advantages of such a service are very clear. Anyone who has money problems, cannot attend an event because he/she does not have time, people who have some kind of disability which restricts their mobility and hence make travel a pain, or someone who has everything - a paid trip, time but cannot attend some event because of visa issue will be benefited by such a service. From all the blogs and research papers I have read people find the experience of remote presence very helpful and immersive, as if they were actually present there. But at the same time, the telepresence robots available in the market are not advanced, and have connectivity issues, or need someone to take care of them in case of network discussion or when the robot falls or gets stuck somewhere.

What are your opinion on the rise of these telepresence robot rental service? Are we witnessing a use case from where robots can start becoming a part of our day to day  life? Will such a service really solve a real world problem? Or is this a area which like the currently available social robots is trying to come up with a problem which fits it's technological capabilities? And any other comment or opinion, that can increase understanding of this will be greatly appreciated.