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Saturday, January 08, 2011

iRobot´s second telepresence robot trial

At CES 2011 iRobot has jumped for second time on the telepresence wagon and presented a telepresence prototype robot called AVA. Recently checked, iRobot has no information about AVA on its website. The second launch of a prototype telepresence robot as new platform for robot app developers seams very weak and confusing. A CEO statement reported by cnet  like "It could be serving drinks or act as a mobile alarm clock", demonstrates serious lack of telepresence vision and customer value focus. AVA has either release date nor price, so we'll have to see if it can be more successful than the ConnectR product.

High-tech AVA is no design hit with its pedestal and tablet PC added top. According to reports of engadet it can move in any direction, with a top speed of about 6 feet per second, thanks to software from the company's military robots like PackBot. AVA is equipped with two PrimeSense sensors, the same ones used in the Kinect for Xbox 360, as well as microphones and speakers, laser range finders, scanning acoustic sensors, and bump sensors for obstacles.
For more details take a look at the interview of PC Magazine's Lance Ulanoff with iRobot CEO Collin Angle.

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