Imagine a robotic screen moving around the room, shifting angles and interacting with the people there. The screen holds the image of the person controlling it remotely, and the changing placement of the telepresence robot is a literal reminder of their interest in the conversation. Some people think this is a great way to interact with family across the miles...you can just park your robot in the living room at Grandma's in Arizona, for instance, and move it around when you want to see something from your computer in Australia.
Other people think that Grandma would not appreciate a telepresence robot that just starts wheeling around and looking at things and that she'd tell you to stop it. Which you could, because you control the robot. The Beam+ Telepresence RobotÂ recently has been introduced as an affordable technology for those who are in favor of this idea. With a lower price, it is changing the game as far as home telepresence options are concerned.
Most of us aren't ready for remotely controlled robots in the home if we are not going to be the one controlling them. This is why the public telepresence facility rental idea is popular: you get the detailed immersion sense of being there for the videoconference, but you are in control of the situation.
If you want to explore the possibilities of telepresence, it is easy to search the WhyGo Video Conference Booking System using the "telepresence facilities" filter and see exactly what is available. You can get the very best High Definition quality available in Immersive Telepresence today for the price of the room rental, along with all the support the WhyGo system offers.
The world of telemedicine has been growing at an astounding rate. Service providers and healthcare organizations all over the world have been teaming up to discover new and effective solutions to any and all obstacles related to the treatment of patients of all kinds. One of the most important ways in which video conferencing and telepresence technology can impact the industry is through home health care. Remote experts are now able to monitor people in their homes without being constantly present. A good example of how the industry is working to further this technology is the recent announcement that the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire will use VGo telepresence robotics for home health care.
The benefits of this setup are manifold. VNAVNH will be able to provide clients recovering from surgery with care and support, and they will also be able to provide people with complex medical needs the support and ongoing care that they need to thrive. Specialty clinical support will be provided for home healthcare and/or hospice nurses, as well. The technology will also be used for consultation on everything from wound care and treatment to chemotherapy, antibiotics, hydration, and other fluid therapies.
Having expert medical treatment provided to people in their homes will allow healthcare providers to save money without sacrificing quality of care and treatment. Nurses will be able to visit more patients and spend less time traveling on the road - the cost is deemed to be only around $10 per day. VGo's telepresence robotics should be a great help in providing VNAVNH with new and affordable methods of care. We hope that telepresence robotics continues to spread across the healthcare industry as a reasonable and effective method of treatment and consultation.
We've recently read and discussed a lot about how telemedicine - the use of video conferencing and telepresence technology in the health care industry to provide solutions for remote medical assistance - has been growing in popularity and changing the lives of many people all over the world. A recent partnership between VGo Communications, an industry leader in telepresence robotics, and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), an international advocate group supporting a range of disabilities, has shown how disparate companies and institutions can team up to create comprehensive solutions for prominent problems in today's society. The merger hopes to improve the prevalence and quality of telepresence support systems for children and adults with disabilities.
The partnership provides each team a chance to improve their services by gaining expertise and institutional support from related fields. VGo will benefit from expertise on disabilities and treatment regiments, which will help in the development of more comprehensive support systems that target the needs of people with a wide range of disabilities. Likewise, UCP will now have a partnership with a developer of telepresence robotics technology that can help patients and affiliated parties.
The telepresence robotics solution also extends to the educational field, as students who may have difficulty getting to and attending physical classes can use these systems to learn and experience new things from their own homes.
About The Technology
The press release explains how VGo's systems function for people with disabilities:
"With the VGo solution, an individual's presence is replicated in a distant location such that they can interact and perform their job in ways not previously possible. Now they can see, be seen, hear, be heard and move around in any remote facility just as if they were there. VGo enables: healthcare providers to deliver lower cost services and improved quality of care, businesses to increase productivity of remote and travelling employees, and homebound students to attend school all with a great user experience and at an affordable price. "
The combination of robotics with video conferencing tools provides the user with a way to move the camera around and potentially do much more. Users on both ends have tools that can help create a more hands-on and interactive experience, which is especially important in education. The technology could also potentially be used for rehabilitation programs in the future.
UCP should be able to provide VGo with expertise and support for the development of more effective and comprehensive robotics systems that cater to the various needs of people with disabilities. One issue of note at present would be the cost of these robotics systems; the sophisticated technology and physical materials required for the development of these solutions can be costly, and this might make it difficult for some individuals, families, and institutions to find a place for it in their lives. That being said, its development alone is promising; giving people with limited mobility and other problems a chance to do things that they previously could not is a promising result of whyGo corporate account technology. We are eager to see what comes next!
Telecommuting has become more and more popular over the past handful of years thanks to rapid developments in the areas of video conferencing and other software and hardware that promotes productive remote work. One of the most interesting areas of advancement within this category is the subject of telepresence robotics. The combination of powerful video conferencing tools with intuitive robotics allows users to have a unique "in-office" and hands-on experience while working from a remote location. A new story about a rolling robot known as the Beam Remote Presence Device (BRPD) looks to change the way that remote workers present themselves in the office. The article from The Register explains:
"The new bot comes from an outfit called Suitable Technology, which seems to be having a a shot at bringing us the best of both worlds the cheapness of telepresence and the intimacy of actual presence by giving you the chance to mount cameras on your desk and beam the resulting vision to the BRPD. On-screen controls let you pilot the 'bot around the remote office, so you can roll from room to room."
It may sound a bit strange, but the possibilities with this new tool are very impressive. The user will be able to collaborate with people all around the office simply by navigating the robot towards them and holding what mimics an in-person conversation.
Of course, there are some obstacles for this product to overcome. Navigation may not be as simple in certain types of offices, and workers around the workplace will have to get used to its presence. With that being said, ti's certainly an interesting advancement!
Recently, we have been touching a lot on the steps schools and educators around the world are taking to integrate video conferencing technology into the classroom. It's an opportunity that can cut spending and increase communication skills and learning. Whether it's in the K-12 school system, at a university, or even in the workplace, video conferencing is being used to educate as well as to connect. But recently, a story out of Baylor University in Texas has shown us even further innovation in the field of VC and education: a "telepresence robot".
A four-foot tall robot with full telepresence capabilities will soon be available in the university's library to aid in the enrichment of education in K-12 programs, according to the article. It's innovative in any number of ways, least of all its interactivity: "it can deliver instruction to schools by making conversation possible between the user -- who directs it remotely with a computer mouse -- and those at a different site, who can view the user on the robot's screen," offering mobility unlike anything seen previously in the video conferencing industry.
The idea behind it is a brilliant one - connecting robotics with the connectivity offered through video conferencing bridges yet another gap in the remote communications field. Now, users have the ability to maneuver the robot from room to room, pivot its head, and more. The students can fully control their learning experience and it will feel almost as if they're right there in the library.
The article suggests that this innovation was invested in partly as a result of severe budget cuts in cultural education. It's great to see how technology can work together and create solutions for these problems that prove to be effective and creative at the same time.
Video conferencing and telepresence technology has significantly improved communication in a variety of environments over the past handful of years. Its applications in the business world, in the health care industry, and in the court systems have proven its worth as a staying power in the field of remote communication. But perhaps some of the most interesting uses of this technology aren't the ones commonly found around the world - when it comes to telepresence technology, it's sometimes the individual innovator who really stands out. The online tech site GeekoSystem recently reported on a story where a man uses a telepresence robot to play with his dog remotely.
This "surrogate" companion was designed to alleviate issues related to the dog's loneliness while his owner, Jordan Correa, and his owner's wife were away at work during the day. The robot uses a PC connected to Skype with a pan-and-tilt camera to allow Correa to remotely monitor and interact with his dog remotely. The robot also uses a Kinect camera on top of it to avoid running into objects. The owner can call his dog over, dispense treats, and even throw and retrieve a ball.
This intelligent combination of robotics and telepresence shows how "viral" technology can really be. Developments in software, hardware, and applications come so rapidly because innovators are able to combine the discoveries of different groups and people to create new systems with unique uses. While entertaining a lonely dog from a remote location may not seem like the most important task that could be accomplished with such technology, it's a perfect example of how wide the scope of video conferencing has become. From important business conferences to pet care, this form of communication has legitimatized itself as a real solution for problems both big and small.
Perhaps in a number of years, dog owners will no longer simply leave their television on when leaving for work - they'll just turn on a robot and keep an eye on the pet from afar. We'll be sure to look at more innovations in telepresence robotics as the year goes on!
South by Southwest (SXSW) is a huge Austin-based event with live music and an interactive trade show that is highly anticipated annually and is always sure to show people some new and surprising things. This year, attendees and Austin locals got a chance to virtually chat with employees of Suitable Technologies through their impressive video conferencing robot Beam.
Beam has been in the news and here on our blog before - it's an innovative tool for a more interactive approach to video conferencing, and prior to its stint at SXSW, has been tested and used in office environments where the controller could move from cubicle to cubicle or office to office to talk with various people for various reasons. The use of the robot to remotely attend the concert, and later to travel back to a hotel room two blocks down the road. An article on the Bangkok Post elaborates:
"Using the cursor keys on her computer, users can twist and move a Beam in any direction they like -- enabling them to just roll up to someone and say hello, or walk alongside people while keeping up a conversation."
As neat and potentially useful as Beam is, it doesn't come cheap - the price tag is reportedly around $16,000, with an extra $3,000+ for service and support. Still, it's in its early stages of development and use and could see some major changes down the road that may help lower its price. Whatever the case may be, this is truly an exciting story to examine - Beam was able to maneuver through crowded areas and have conversations with all kinds of people at a high-profile event, and Suitable Technologies was able to showcase how powerful the tool really is. Video conferencing robotics is near the forefront of interactive application of the technology - we are excited to see where it goes in the rest of this year and in coming years.