Put wheels on your iPad with Double Robotics‘ new telepresence device. Duplicate yourself and roam by remote control – just about anywhere on the planet!
Telepresence has become a popular user of self-balancing platforms. The first was Anybot, and now Double Robotics has launched a solution called ‘Double’ that adopts the Apple iPad as the functional telepresence part.
You “drive” Double remotely by using your own iPad, while another iPad mounted on its telescopic pole projects your image as it moves about in another location. At US$1,995 plus iPads, it could be a cost-effective way to be in two places at once. In fact, you can have as many active Doubles as you want.
The Double Robotics website has a great video that shows how it works.
Dynamically self-balancing machines offer a number of advantages over traditional, statically balanced platforms. Benefits for telepresence include small footprint, zero-turning radius, and large wheels to keep the ride (and the video image) nice and smooth while making short work of bumps, jumps, door sills, cables, bits of rubbish, and all manner of objects found scattered around offices, showrooms and workshops. It is also the only practical configuration that enables a “tower on wheels” configuration to quickly accelerate or slow down without toppling over. For these reasons and more, Segway Inc.’s own Robotic Mobility Platforms (RMPs) have become the base for a wide ride of research, military and commercial unmanned applications.
The Segway PT kick-started interest in self-balancing platforms at Universities worldwide, including at our own Auckland, Massey and Victoria Universities. A variety of home-made inventions followed, and today you can even build a self-balancing model out of Lego Mindstorm parts. Of course, military applications abound, with Marathon Targets being the most talked about with their army of Segway RMP-based robot terrorists. And everyone knows the media likes to report the latest thing that’s a bit like a Segway – even if it isn’t.