Testing My New Robot Body
Erico Guizzo's "stand-in" robot roamed around IEEE Spectrum's New York City office while Guizzo sat in his pajamas at home. From his laptop, over the Net, Guizzo could steer the robot, peer through its cameras, and talk to his colleagues. The robot has an alien-looking head with two big round eyes that's perched on a thin carbon-fiber pole. One eye captures high-definition video; the other shoots a green laser beam. The laser isn't for zapping coworkers you dislike but for pointing at things. The robotic proxy rolls on a two-wheeled base that balances just like a Segway. QB is what is known as a telepresence robot. It's the creation of Silicon Valley start-up Anybots, and it sells for US$15,000. The company says that as a communications platform, QB lets remote workers collaborate with others in ways that a wall-mounted monitor in a conference room could never permit.
This video documents a week at the IEEE Spectrum offices through the cameras of a telepresence robot. Erico Guizzo showed up to work with a new body: a robot from a California company called Anybots.