Robotics company Anybots has announced the launch of its telepresence robot, which will use video conferencing technology to reduce business travel.
Anybots, which is based in Silicon Valley, California, will be selling the robots for approximately $15,000 - a real bargain when compared to other popular robots, such as medical robots, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and can perform operations on a patient four time zones away from the doctor.
The telepresence robots will be useful in helping companies cut back on travel costs. For example, a robot can be used to tour a facility in India while an executive in New York uses video conferencing technology to follow along, ask questions and look in any direction he or she pleases. The robot allows the remote business partner to see, hear and interact with people thousands of miles away without the hassle and expense of travel.
Like normal, non-robotic telephone and video conferencing, the robots are "a solution to the problem of how to work more effectively in a globally distributed company," said Trevor Blackwell, CEO and founder of Anybots.
The company was founded in 2001 and is currently working on more robotic prototypes, including a project called Dexter. Dexter is a bi-pedal humanoid robot that can jump, run and imitate other human movements.