Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Those who are weight conscious and desire to take their meetings from across the globe now have a new robotic friend and iPad accessory. The Double robot by Double Robotics can serve several purposes at once.
As technology expands at an ever quickening pace, the need to actually be in a room or in a city to conduct any sort of work is diminishing. Thanks to teleconferencing and video conferencing, people are able to collaborate and work with one another from anywhere in the connected world. The Double robot takes this idea one step further, acting as a tall, slender iPad stand with wheels. Now, you´ll be able to control the tall and thin robotic iPad stand with your face at the top as you maneuver from room to room in a building you may have never even stepped foot inside of. These Double robot iPad stands will also be great for perpetrating some of the most epic of office pranks ever conceived, but I digress.
In an interview with TechCrunch, the Double Robotics founder David Cann said his company´s main competitor is Anybots, a similar, if not bulkier variation on the same idea. Looking a little more comical, the Anybots QB features cameras and sensors and is controlled via a web browser. The Double robot, on the other hand, brings the ease and simplicity synonymous with Apple products: One iPad on a Double robot stand, controlled via another iPad in another location. Another not-so-subtle difference between the Anybots and the Double is price. While the Anybots can cost approximately $10,000, said Cann, the Double robot costs only $2,000. In fact, it sounds almost affordable when compared to the Anybots robot.
“We´re doing it the lean startup way,” said Cann in his interview with Tech Crunch, “rather than the traditional way of developing robotics which is very expensive and complicated.”
Cann went on to say his company was able to keep costs low by keeping their entire project in one building. In fact, Cann´s team decided to build such a robot after a frustrating experience with another project which kept requiring them to make multiple trips to China to partner with a Chinese manufacturer. The team then decided they could make their own robot which would allow them the opportunity to keep an eye on things in China without having to leave their home offices.
“We never came out with that product because we decided to pivot,” Cann said.
“Mobile Robots are expensive and complicated, and we thought we could do it better.”
As for the Double robot, its stand can be extended anywhere from a modest 3.6 feet to an average 5 feet, depending on if people are sitting or standing in a room. The robot has a dual-wheel base which gives it the ability to turn on a dime and travel around sharp corners and through hallways from a million miles away.
The Double robot is controlled by another iPad or even via a web interface, and provides the user a few controls to move the robot closer or farther away, and swing from left to right.
As Cann and Double Robotics are quickly finding out, there are many uses for their Double robot. According to Cann, their company has seen requests from other startups with multiple offices, as well as major corporations and even hospitals.
Their demo video, by the way, also shows the Double robot being used in an art gallery, allowing users to peruse the art from another town or even another country.
The Double robot is available for pre-order now for $1,999 at their website.
If you´d rather see one in person first, the Double robot should be available in retail stores later this year for $2,499.