3 years ago
anonymous
We've had students participate in class virtually with the Double 2 robot. We've had a few times when we set up the robot, and then moved to another WiFi node, and had it disconnect. Other than that, it's been great! We have our's dressed up with a tee shirt on a hanger, and we even had one person pat it on the shoulder when they finished with their conversation and said goodbye. I'd love to hear how people are using this to ease students with anxiety or other disabilities into the general classroom.
3 years ago
anonymous
The Team from Ohmni Robots have been amazing. Every time I have contacted them they have called back or emailed back in a very timely manner. They have great product info and back up.
3 years ago
anonymous
The Ohmnni robot is really easy to control through the internet. The mobile version got even better. It's amazing how precisely I can control the robot at such reasonably fast speeds.
4 years ago
anonymous
I've been using the Beam Pro for four months and it has been a workhorse.We have used it in various capacities without any problems. For presentations, robotics demos(for industry). We are getting ready to teach a programming class and class for App development. I have used other telepresence robots over the last five years, but this system was the most stable and durable without flaws. A MUST TRY PrODUCT.
4 years ago
anonymous
I chose Giraff for a project because it can be programmed - unlike most other telepresence robots available. It has worked great for demos and I look forward to creating customized solutions for people in the future.
4 years ago
anonymous
I can visit my elderly family at any time. Video chat and movements are quite smooth.
5 years ago
anonymous
I recently did a demo drive of MantaroBot’s TeleMe 2. Seizing the opportunity, I decided that a test of their TableTop TeleMe was also in order. The team, friendly and helpful as ever, were eager to show me their product. I was sent an email with instructions and soon I was trying to log in to their system. This was very easy when I was testing the TeleMe 2, however now I was having some difficulties. However, the problem was solved fast and soon I was talking with MantaroBot’s Daniel, who showed me some of TableTop TeleMe’s best features. This telepresence robot isn’t able to move around, as you might have guessed by the name. It’s a rotatable stand that you can place on a table or a desk with a holder for a tablet or phone. If you prefer, you can also order a TableTop TeleMe with a floor base and a 30’’ mast extension. The robot allows you to easily communicate with people and you can rotate the stand (full 360 degrees!) to look around the room. You can memorize locations, so that you can talk to several people at once and turn the head of the robot to face a person with just a click. You can also tilt the camera and look up and down. I appreciate that Mantarobot offer customization when it comes to the robot - for example, although the supported devices are iPad, iPhone and Samsung Galaxy TAB, the TableTop TeleMe can be adapted to virtually any tablet or phone. I really liked that the TeleMe has built in speakers and microphone, as the quality of the sound was amazing. Since it’s stationary, the robot can stay plugged in the wall socket (although there’s is an option for an internal battery) allowing you instant access and unlimited operational time. Daniel mentioned that the TableTop TeleMe is great for elderly care - except turning the robot on, there’s nothing you can’t do virtually. It can connect via Ethernet and WiFi and since it doesn’t move around, the signal stays strong. There’s also an optional laser pointer that can be built in. Operating the Tabletop TeleMe was extremely intuitive and easy. You can use any conference program you like (Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.) and you don’t need to install any kind of software on your computer to control the robot. I want to mention that turning the head was a bit noisy, although it didn’t really prevent me from hearing what Daniel was saying. What I really like about the TableTop TeleMe is that it’s much cheaper than other telepresence robots, while at the same time it’s almost as useful. If you need a device that can allow you to easily communicate to your elderly parents or attend distant meetings, the TableTop TeleMe would certainly do the job. However, I have to admit that rolling down hallways with a mobile robot is much more fun. To sum up my experience, here are the pros and cons of the TableTop TeleMe: + Cheaper than non-stationary telepresence robots + Customizable + Easy to use + Can be accessed distantly, without assistance + 360 degree view of the room + tilting + No specialized program installation + Compatible with every conference program + Laser pointer and floor base available + Can be plugged in wall socket, but also has a rechargeable battery + Built-in speakers and microphone Cons: - Stationary - Noisy rotation - Needs customization before working with most devices - You need to buy a tablet, as it’s not included
5 years ago
anonymous
I had the pleasure to perform a demo drive of MantaroBot’s TeleMe 2. Setting up the appointment was easy - I only had to fill a simple form and was soon contacted by the team. They were extremely helpful and flexible with their time, which is a great plus for anyone with a busy schedule. I was provided with a detailed manual and a thorough explanation about entering the system days prior to the appointment, so that I could be prepared for the demo drive. I have to admit, I was very eager to try this telepresence robot, as the professionalism of the team had impressed me and my expectations were set high. I’m happy to say - they were absolutely met. Essentially, the TeleMe 2 is a moving base for a tablet that serves as the “head” of the robot. It supports a couple of devices - Microsoft Surface Pro (3 and 4); Apple iPad; Apple iPhone; Samsung Galaxy TAB and S4. Perhaps the most useful service that MantaroBot offers is that their telepresence robots are highly customizable. This means that even if your tablet isn't compatible with the body, you will still be able to use the robot after a modification from the MantaroBot engineers. The base contains the battery and all of the electronics and the pan and tilt are done only by the head, independently from the base. The TeleMe 2 can be used with any conference program (Skype, Google Hangouts, Cisco, Polycom, etc.), making this robot a great choice for any company that wants to keep their communication private. It’s also great that I wasn’t required to install anything before driving the robot, as there is a web-browser based control available. Another smart feature is the telepresence robot’s ability to connect from one wifi to another, so that the signal remains good while you're moving around. I really liked that when you're tilting and turning the head, you can memorize the position of the camera and quickly return to it, making conversations in meetings much more natural. As for the hardware, I was informed that TeleMe 2 is much lighter than its predecessor - about 15 pounds so. Its battery has been improved and the motor is much quieter. I couldn’t personally confirm that, as I haven’t had the pleasure to try out the original TeleMe, but I did notice that the motor definitely wasn’t loud. There's a collision detector that helps you avoid damaging your telepresence robot. This was very welcome, as there was some delay in the connection and it was a relief not being able to run into a wall full speed. As for charging the robot - getting the TeleMe 2 in the docking station isn't automatic, but it is easy enough. I also learned that the TeleMe 2 has some great features like headlights, a laser pointer and a Kensington lock adapter (that helps you keep your robot safe). You can even get a shirt hanger and trailer or a hitch, so that it can be towed. To sum up my experience, here are the pros and cons of the TeleMe 2: Pros: +Great customer service (manual, flexible schedule) +Customizable +No required program installation +Can be used with any conference program +Collision detector +Lots of cool features (changing wi-fi connections, laser, headlights, shirt hanger, lock) Cons: - Not a lot of supported devices, although it could be customized to support almost everything - The design of the web-based control could look better - Delay (however, this was probably caused by the wi-fi connection, rather than a flaw of the TeleMe 2) - Manual docking
5 years ago
anonymous
VGo
The VGo offers its users unusually good sound, video, driving options, and battery life for its price point, and is highly customizable whether for individual or administrative use. Set up to run on Macs, PCs, and iPads, the VGo's default interface is somewhat busy (less so on the iPad), but can be tweaked to hide less-used buttons/options. At any rate, all buttons are labeled with hover messages, so it's easy to quickly learn the layout. Computer-based users may drive the VGo via their mouse (hold and left-click to move, scroll wheel to tilt camera) or keyboard (arrow keys). A rounded arc appears in the view window when you move, enabling you to easily alter your speed, direction, and turn increments. The interface also includes a circular set of buttons to enable incremental pivoting. The camera, which folds straight down into the head when not in use, may be set to auto-tilt while driving (alternating between its base and forward), can be used to take snapshots at a higher resolution than the video stream (the video quality is not as high in order to avoid hogging bandwidth), and may zoom up to 5x with no loss of resolution. The VGo includes two speakers which provide a rich, strong sound ensuring that users' conversations flows effortlessly. Based upon customer feedback, the VGo's motor has been updated to allow a faster upper threshold of speed than any of the other robots I've driven, which would be particularly welcome in large work spaces requiring the robot to cover more ground. The speed ranges from 1-5, plus T for Turbo and R for Reverse (very slow), and is easy to adjust on the fly. If you're uneasy about your driving ability, fear not: there are proximity sensors that will slow the robot down if they detect an obstacle. Additionally, sensors at the base of the unit are set to auto-stop before stairs, though some users may elect to deactivate this option if their location's floor features shiny black tile, which sometimes fools the sensors. Customers whose facilities use more than one VGo can make use of the extensive administrative console to easily regulate use of their robots, indicating who may use which robot and when. To ensure data security, all transmitted information is encrypted; additionally, the VGo supports most WiFi and organizational security protocols. Thanks to the VGo's versatility and well-conceived design, numerous students, physicians, and businesses are putting it to good use. Students of all ages use the VGo to sit in on classes, a boon for those with either chronic health issues or severe physical limitations. In the case of particularly young students, the teachers may use a special remote to help the students position the robot. On the business front, the VGo's designers particularly wanted to enable companies to provide remote expert consultation at each company location. As one example, Audi now uses VGo robots (customized with special cameras for looking inside the engine) to allow their top automotive experts to provide timely input to mechanics at Audi dealer service departments around the world. In the health care sector, hospitals and physicians use the VGo to more efficiently follow up with remote patients, to monitor facilities and resting patients, and - similar to VGo's corporate clients - to enable consultation with experts elsewhere. The VGo was deliberately designed to appear non-threatening, with a curved frame, short stature, small screen size, and very light (less than 20 pounds) build. Ned Semonite, VGo's Vice President of Products who guided me on my test drive, said that one of VGo's guiding design principles was, "Never be taller than who you're communicating with, whether they're standing, sitting at a table, or reclining in a hospital bed." Some of the VGo's other features are clearly designed to put users at ease: --a user can mute his/her own microphone and/or camera --a user may allow or decline a call following an advance announcement (which runs for fifteen seconds to allow the user time to make final preparations for the call) --the small screen size only displays the head of the caller --a user can opt to use text-to-speech (which is spoken in the VGo's mild female-sounding voice), which is very useful for the voice-impaired as well as for those who prefer an extra layer of privacy While we've looked at a number of the VGo's many features, the above list is by no means exhaustive. Those in the market for adaptable and affordable telepresence robots will definitely want to take the VGo for a test drive and experience its versatility first-hand. I was impressed with my own experience with the robot (along with the friendly VGo personnel) and would not be surprised to see VGo at the forefront of the telepresence robot industry in the years to come.
5 years ago
anonymous
Giraff is undeniably one of the best options for a telepresence robot on the market. I was looking forward to driving the Giraff and after a brief discussion with Dan through e-mail; I managed to schedule a demo. Dan was very kind and responded to my messages in a timely manner. Before I could test the Giraff, a specialized program had to be installed. The name made me giggle right away – “Giraff Pilot”. I’m not a big fan of going through all the trouble of downloading and installing software, but I have to admit that it was really fast and straightforward. I found the start screen of the program very amusing – before I could connect to a device, an adorable message showed up – “Looking for Giraffes”. After just a couple of seconds, I was already exploring Giraff Technologies' office in Sweden. Driving around a Giraff was almost effortless. The control system is very intuitive and what makes everything even better is that there’s an automated u-turn, as well as the option to double click in the direction you’d like to go. That makes following a person so much easier. What really amazed me was how easy it was to overcome obstacles. I got in and out of an elevator without difficulty. As we moved around the office, I found that the WiFi signal wasn’t exactly great everywhere and that our connection would start to fall apart if I went to the far end of the room. Naturally, that has nothing to do with the quality of the robot. However, it helped me discover a great function of the Giraff – the video resolution would change according to the strength of the WiFi signal. The Giraff can go pretty fast, if you‘re brave enough to accelerate. I tried reaching the top speed in the hallway of Giraff Technologies. However, this robot has no systems, preventing it from hitting people, walls and falling down stairs. That’s why I preferred to play it safe, but still I felt that the robot was very agile. You can look up and down, using the mouse wheel. The camera can also be moved, as there are two positions of the robot – standing and sitting. That’s undeniably a very useful function, as it really improves the quality of the conversation with the other side. However, I found that changing the position was very noisy – I guess that’s a feature that needs to be improved in future projects. The battery life isn’t amazing, but offers a completely reasonable amount of time to be productive before you need to recharge. Speaking of that – there’s no automated docking program and you need to dock the robot manually. It’s not very hard, although it takes some patience and imagination. Of course, I’d prefer using a button that would save me all the time and effort. My overall impression with Giraff was very good. To sum it up: Pros: + Great customer service + Easy to install software + Intuitive control + Easy turning – double click and u-turn. + Effortless overcoming of obstacles +Changes resolution if the WiFi signal is weak + Fast and agile + You can look up and down + There’s a sitting and a standing mode of the camera Cons: - Needs specialized software - No crash avoidance system - Noisy transition from sitting to standing - No auto-docking
5 years ago
anonymous
Hospitals and physicians around the world are beginning to use telepresence robots to enhance the medical care they provide. Although many different robot models are in use in the medical field, the Giraff Plus appears to have a clear edge over the others, having been designed specifically with medical observation and monitoring functions in mind. Aided by research grants from the European Union and driven by a team of scientists and researchers principally hailing from Sweden and Italy, Giraff offers a telepresence robot whose accessories enable physicians to provide an unprecedented depth of client care. While the Giraff can function as a multipurpose telepresence robot similar to others I've test driven, it truly shines when it is deployed as the linchpin of a comprehensive medical remote monitoring system (which is what makes it "Giraff Plus"), primarily intended to support elderly people who live alone. Accessories such as door and window sensors, a blood pressure station, a timed pill dispenser, and a pressure-sensitive mat (monitoring vital signs during sleep or rest) all relay information through the robot to a remote medical operator/observer, enabling physicians to check in with their patients or quickly respond in the case of an emergency. If you're interested in more details about how the monitoring system works, I highly recommend you watch the mini-documentaries on the Giraff website (giraffplus.eu). The controls of the Giraff Plus are very straightforward, and the control window contains all necessary command buttons and instructions without seeming cluttered. Users drive the robot by clicking on a destination onscreen (a "trail" will appear behind the mouse pointer) and then holding the button until reaching that destination. Moving the pointer while continuing to hold down the button allows you to alter your path as you go. To pivot in place, simply double-click in the desired direction. The Giraff stands about 1.7 meters (about 5 ½ feet) tall when the "Stand" button is selected, but can be lowered using the "Sit" button. There are additional buttons for driving backward (in small increments only, as there is no rear view camera), speaker volumes (yours and the Giraff's), night vision, doing a U-turn (pivoting 180 degrees in place), and simplifying the screen by removing the buttons. The camera itself offers a curved quasi-spherical view, allowing for both good straight-ahead vision as well as some peripheral vision, and by moving the mouse wheel, a user can tilt the camera up or down (the downward range extends to a vertical view of the base). The robot must be driven back to its charging dock manually, but since it connects face-first, this isn't difficult to do. The Giraff Plus is available worldwide and in addition to its obvious utility within the medical industry, should prove particularly attractive to companies looking for remote security solutions (the night vision, broad camera view, and door/window sensor accessories both come to mind here). Given the rising mean age of citizens in most industrialized nations, however, I see the Giraff Plus--as a comprehensive patient-monitoring system--making its greatest impact in elderly health care. Additional Notes: - Even with the 9-hour time difference, I felt Giraff's customer service was reasonably prompt, as well as courteous. It was a pleasure to work with Dan, the gentleman who walked me through the demo session. - One thing Dan pointed out to me is that different nations' health care systems might impact how widely the Giraff Plus (or, indeed, competing companies' robots) are adopted and how they're used. I'm curious about whether the USA's complex--and still-evolving--health care system will accommodate the full scope of what the Giraff designers have envisioned.
5 years ago
anonymous
This is a great device that gives you only what you need to. I used Kubi doing an interview and it is way better than a traditional video chat. Since I was in control to pan and rotate my view around the room, I could follow the conversation better. I also didn’t have to worry about typical navigation problems like driving off stairs or running into anyone. The interface was easy to learn and simple to use. The point and click feature worked well so I could avoid holding down on any buttons. I tend to talk with my hands, so holding a mouse sometimes gets in the way. PROS: Great value for the cost, Easy navigation interface, Works with iPad, Android, and Windows tablets. CONS: Doesn’t charge tablet. If you’re looking for a basic telepresence unit, this would be the one. Simple and effective, the Kubi is a great device for home or office use.
5 years ago
anonymous
Scheduling an appointment with Endurance was very easy. The whole team is extremely responsive – I usually got a message back in a couple of minutes. I always enjoy working with Endurance, as the people are so kind and helpful. I spoke to Philipp, who went out of his way to make me feel comfortable and to answer my questions. This time, I was interested in the Selfiebot; a smart stand for your device. This robot has a wide variety of possible uses – from a baby monitor to remote attendance workshops and school. I really liked that I didn’t need to install anything to use the Selfiebot from my computer; I just had to open the Endurance site in my browser and find the test drive menu. Philipp talked me through the whole process. Considering the nature of the robot, controlling it was very easy. Since it’s basically a very cool stand for your phone or pad, you have only 4 buttons, moving it left, right, up and down. However, you can only use the mouse to control the movement and not the keyboard. There’s also an app for mobile phones, but unfortunately I didn’t get to try it out. The Selfiebot has a couple of really amazing features, making it one of the best choices on the market. Auto tracking means that the camera will follow you, as you move around the room. That’s very helpful for people filming their presentations or dancers. If you prefer controlling the position of the Selfiebot yourself, you can always rely on the remote control. There’s also infrared night vision – you could use the Selfiebot as a security camera or a baby monitor. However, my favorite feature is the wireless charging of the device – you won’t have to worry about the battery life of your phone. The Selfiebot is also great for filming time-lapse videos. Another great advantage of this robot is that it’s really cheap. You could buy it even cheaper, if you join the Do It Yourself program. Endurance want to motivate students to create their own Selfiebots and learn about 3D printing, Arduino programming, soldering and software creation. They’re trying to create a community, where young people can share ideas and improve old ones. I think that their initiative is very noble, which makes me like Endurance even more. To sum up the review, here’s a list of pros and cons: Pros: + Amazing customer service + No need to install software on computer + Available for mobile devices + Easy to use + Auto tracking + Remote Control + Wireless charging of devices + Very cheap + There’s a DIY option Cons: - Can only move the camera around with the mouse
5 years ago
anonymous
I run homebound services for a large school district in Texas. We have searched for many different solutions to bring our homebound students into class. We tried most of the roaming telepresence robots and they all just did not work how we hoped. We always ended up needing to have a Bot Buddy to walk alongside if not carry the robot. When we found Kubi, we were like that was exactly what we need. With the first students we tried it out with, they were so happy that it felt like they were in class, that they could interact and participate in class again. The integration with Zoom Video Conferencing is what really sets it apart since that is the tool that we use district wide for all video communications. Kubi is so easy to use with Zoom. By adding on a directional microphone and speaker, the homebound students are able to hear great even when there is group work going on with lots of discussions. And, Kubi is naturally a directional microphone positioner so whoever the remote student is looking at is who they are listening to. The Revolve Staff have been very supportive with questions that we have had and with helping us figure out our unique set-ups.
5 years ago
anonymous
The Endurance team was an absolute pleasure to work with! They responded immediately to my e-mails and were always helpful and pleasant. I managed to set a demo in a matter of days and the fact that I could connect to the robot at any time (during daytime in Moscow, as it was otherwise dark) and drive it around without supervision, was very convenient. In order to do the demo, I had to download Linphone – a program, similar to Skype that allowed me and the team to communicate over the internet. That was easy and straightforward and I had no problem whatsoever creating a profile and installing the program. I had to go through the same process again, as I decided to download the app on my phone and see how the experience would differ, if I changed the device. That’s another great advantage of having an unlimited access to the robot - being able to see how it behaves in various situations. There were some technical difficulties, as I wasn’t able to drive the robot at first. The controls worked on my mobile phone, but that wasn’t very helpful, as opening the keypad 1absolutely blocked the view and I couldn’t see where I was going. I used the Linphone app on an Iphone 5 - perhaps a tablet or a phone with a larger screen wouldn’t have this problem. However, the team was very helpful and after some tinkering, we found out that the robot responded when I opened the keypad in Linphone (you can do that from the Options menu) and clicked on the numbers. That apparently fixed any other problem there was and I was finally able to drive Endurance around with my keyboard The first thing that I noticed when I connected with the Endurance was there was a lot of echo. However, I blame the tablet for that, rather than the robot itself. There was a delay and controlling where the Endurance was going, proved a challenge, as the robot always seemed to move a bit to the right. Despite the crash avoidance, I even managed to run it into a wall (thankfully without damaging anything), hence the four stars in quality. However, after a bit of cautious maneuvering, I got the hang of it. Still, it was hard to control the robot, so that's why I've given 4 stars in the "Ease of Use" category. What I found really annoying was the constant sound I heard while controlling the robot. Imagine holding the key of a phone down – that beep that changes its tone in accordance to the number you’re pressing. That’s what you hear all the time while driving Endurance - I had to turn the volume of my computer off. Obviously, talking to someone while moving around would be impossible in this case. However, this is a problem that probably can be fixed, so I’d advise you to take in consideration the other qualities of Endurance before making your choice. Some of the things I liked about this telepresence robot was that it has a customizable size – its height can be changed from 170 cm to 100 cm and smaller, so that it fulfills your needs. Another great thing about Endurance is that it can easily be disassembled and with a weight of 12 kg transporting it shouldn’t be a problem. The runtime is more than decent – you’d have around 6 hours before the battery dies and the robot needs to get back to the docking station. However, there’s no auto-docking option, which makes plugging in the Endurance a difficult task. I like that the robot doesn’t have a built in head, as it gives the customer the freedom to choose a tablet with the quality of the video and audio they need. You can auto-charge your tablet and auto-activate the conversation, making Endurance the perfect robot to check in on your pets and home while you’re away. To sum it up, here’s a list of pros and cons for the Endurance: Pros: + Great customer service + Easy installation of the required software + Auto-activation + Customizable size + Easy to transport + 6 hours of battery life + Customer chooses tablet with the needed qualities + Auto-charging option for the tablet Cons: - Difficulties controlling the robot (delay, technical problems) - Annoying beeping sounds - Crash avoidance malfunction - No auto-docking option
5 years ago
anonymous
I was recently able to do a demo drive of Beam – it was an absolutely amazing experience! I got a reply from the Beam team in a day and was able to schedule a demo after a couple of pleasant emails. I was able to choose which model I wanted to drive, which was great, as I was interested in Beam Plus and not Beam Pro. Suitable Technologies provided me with all the information I could possibly need and soon I was able to drive one of their robots in their Kansas City office. Before I could access the Beam, I had to download and install some specialized software. Although, I usually don’t like doing that, I have to admit, the process was very fast and straightforward. You even get to watch a 5 minute introductory video, explaining how to drive the robot and be safe. The program itself gives numerous options, allowing you to set your preferences, so that you can control the robot as easily, as possible. For example, you can choose the sensitivity of the mouse, as well as the top speed of the Beam and the microphone and speaker volume. What actually surprised me was that you could choose to control the robot, not only with the mouse or keyboard, but also with a gamepad. I liked that you have access to the keyboard shortcuts at any time during the conversation, allowing you to steer the robot even better. There was no lag and maneuvering around obstacles was made simple by the second camera placed on the bottom of the Beam. A definite advantage is that there’s no need to change between cameras, as both views are always on screen. This allows you to gain some sense of depth and protect both the robot and the people in its vicinity, without consciously concentrating on it. One of the more unique features of Beam is the “Hold” option. When you disconnect from the robot, it holds your spot for 15 minutes before anyone else could drive it. This can be very valuable at an event with multiple Beams. Another great feature, although not really uncommon, is the screen share. Beam also allows you to zoom in – the quality remains very decent, but it could be better. The robot has an assisted docking option, which is always a great convenience. The charge time of Beam is about 4 hours and allows you to use the robot for up to 2 hours. Perhaps some of the greatest features are the echo cancellation and the background noise canceling. Those, along with the 4 microphones and the audio amplifier, guarantee an amazing sound quality. The robot can safely overcome bumps up to ¾ inches high. So, to sum my experience up, here’s a simple list! Pros: + Great customer service + Easy software installation + You can set your preferences in the Beam software + You can control the robot via mouse, keyboard and gamepad + No lag + Easy maneuvering + Sense of depth + "Hold option" + Screen share + Assisted docking + Great audio quality Cons: - You need to install specialised software - When zoomed in, the video gets a bit grainy - Short battery life (2 hours)
5 years ago
anonymous
I want to start by mentioning that setting up a demo with the Revolve Robotics team was an absolute pleasure – they responded to my request in less than an hour and were extremely pleasant and helpful. I had a lot of fun testing Kubi – due to the simplistic design of the robot, there weren’t many functions to explore, but my conversation with the team kept me engaged and amused. I have to say, the fact that not only one, but three people from Revolve Robotics spent their time telling me about their product absolutely puts this brand’s customer service on a whole new level – I’d give them 10 stars, if I could. As for Kubi itself – it’s basically a tablet (Apple, Android and Microsoft with Bluetooth 4.0) on top of a rotating stand. Although it may seem a bit boring, compared to the mobile telepresence robots, a stationary machine actually has numerous advantages. Our conversation had great quality all throughout the demo, as the Kubi didn’t move around, losing the WiFi signal. The video conferencing platform we used for the demo was Zoom. This program has integrated the Kubi software, allowing the user to turn the robot sideways. I wasn’t able to tilt the head, although it’s going to be possible in the near future. A great plus is that there’s no limit to the people using a Kubi at the same time. The robot can be controlled by every person in the conference call by requesting it. You can rotate the head up to 300 degrees and since you have access to the camera at the back of the tablet, your view is 360 degrees. The fact that Kubi is stationary drastically lowers the price of the robot, although it still fulfills the main function of a telepresence robot – effective communication. You don’t have to worry about a robot roaming the halls, getting stuck in impossible places, casually running over people and falling down stairs. Although this limited autonomy could be a problem for some, it also means endless run time (if Kubi is placed near a power source), virtually no way of damaging the robot, simple interface that can be taught to anyone and hundreds of dollars saved. A couple of interesting features are the automatic activation, as well as the ability to record the motion of the robot and create presentations. Kubi works with video apps like Vidyo, Zoom and Webex, as well as specialized equipment like EMR systems and connected telehealth applications. The robot has a battery life of 4 hours, so even if it’s not plugged in, you have plenty of time. Here’s a simple list of pros and cons that sums up the review! Pros: + High quality connection + Cheap + Amazing customer service + Simple interface, easy to use + Light and easy to move + Safe for everyone + Can work with various programs (and telehealth apps) + Endless runtime + No way to damage the robot + Automatic activation + Ability to record the motion of the robot Cons: - Limited autonomy - You need to own a tablet - You need to download a video app
5 years ago
anonymous
Yesterday afternoon I took a Beam+ telepresence robot for a spin as Dan from Suitable Technologies talked me through its capabilities and graciously fielded my many questions. Before I launch into describing my experience driving the robot, I should mention that in preparation for the test drive, another company employee, Kinsley, contacted me to run a quick test ensuring that my computer was up to the task. I appreciated that extra step on the company's part to make sure that my test drive went smoothly. This gave me an early indication that Suitable Technologies isn't just another startup scrambling to get its product on the market, but has worked with enough clientele to develop a streamlined demo process. Additionally, theirs is the first company website I've seen that displays a photo of a U. S. president (currently President Obama) using one of their products. The Beam+ is a no-nonsense, well-designed telepresence robot. Users can maneuver it using either a mouse or the arrow keys on a computer keyboard (I found the arrow keys to be easiest), and can adjust the speed via a slider in the application window. For a little extra speed, hold down the shift key while moving the robot (whether by arrow key or mouse). The Beam+ can also pivot in either direction, useful for maneuvering in tight spaces. One key feature that increases the robot's cost but also contributes to a smooth user experience is its built-in 10" LCD flat-panel monitor, which carries two HDR cameras and four directional microphones (including one in the rear), heightening users' feeling of being "present" in the remote location. On my end, this meant that I had a crystal clear straight-ahead view through the main camera and excellent audio throughout the test drive. I had a similarly clear view through the second camera, which, because the Beam+ doesn't have proximity sensors, shows the base of the robot to assist users in avoiding obstacles. The second camera also aids those users who choose to steer with a mouse: when you hover your mouse point above the window with the base view, you'll see parallel "tracks" angling from the robot's base to wherever your pointer is, indicating where the Beam+ will move when you click and hold the mouse button. Further features allow users to share their screens with viewers on the other end, mute sound on either end of the call, increase the view to full-screen, and pause for up to fifteen minutes without disconnecting the call (should nature, or some other imminent need, intervene). Holding the period key brings up a window displaying the user's connection speed. The monitor includes a USB 2.0 port (which can accept a 4G stick to enhance the robot's operational range if necessary), and also allows you to zoom the main camera up to 2.0x. Although the Beam+ doesn't stop when it contacts an obstacle, its top travel speed is about 0.5 mph, so any accidental collisions are unlikely to be catastrophic. Also--and Dan demonstrated this for me--the Beam+ can be tilted to nearly 45 degrees off-base and will still right itself. Finally, when you're done with a call and have maneuvered the robot near its charging dock, you can simply hold "P" to activate the auto-navigation parking feature. Overall, I felt the Beam+ was very user-friendly and offered a very smooth telepresence experience suitable for a wide variety of possible uses. The Beam+ appears to be well-made and well-conceived, and Suitable Technologies also seems to be well organized and to have a good understanding of how to attract and interact with clients. If you're in the market for a reliable, high-quality telepresence robot, I have no hesitation in recommending you buy the Beam+. Pros: - Smooth interface with great call quality - Intuitive and straight-forward controls - Physically stable and well-designed - Very secure calls - Very reliable, as demonstrated not only by the confidence of larger clients (such as Google, which has over 50), but by Suitable Technologies' willingness to entirely remotely staff a store via Beam+ robots. If I'm ever in Palo Alto, a visit to that store (on University Avenue) is going to be on my to-do list. Cons: - No proximity sensors, although the Beam+ compensates for this through the directional mics, the base-view HDR camera, and the modest top movement speed. - The relatively short 2 hour battery life
6 years ago
anonymous
Test driving this robot was an absolute pleasure – the responsive, kind team, as well as Double's great features, made my experience amazing! Controlling this robot was very easy and intuitive; there was no lag or noticeable delay in the signal. Double is reasonably fast with a speed of 1.6 mph (2.6 km/h) and very maneuverable. One drawback I could point out is that this robot doesn’t have an option to tilt the camera. However, you are able to easily raise and lower the head, allowing you to better communicate with both sitting and standing people. Double doesn’t come with a build in screen - you need to attach an iPad (2, Air or Air 2). Since a lot of people already own iPads, buying Double saves them money and using one device for multiple purposes is even eco-friendly. Also, your tablet couldn’t run out of battery while driving Double, as it’s automatically charged from the power source of the robot. I was a bit nervous about doing a demo drive, as I knew that Double doesn’t have any sensors that stop it from bumping into walls or people and falling down stairs. This could definitely be a problem for some people, however, this robot compensates with a very effective system of overcoming obstacles. At any time, you’re able to access a camera, placed on the bottom of the head, looking down. This allows you to see what’s in your way and easily go around it. The other feature that helps you out is the lateral stability control that allows the Double to go over obstacles, often found in buildings (for example, electrical cords and dividers). When I went over a cord, I hardly even felt it, as this was no challenge for the robot. I really liked the fact that you don’t need to install any software, in order to control Double. A feature that I found useful was the ability to screen share, as it’s a much easier to get your point across. There’s also a multi-viewer mode that allows up to 5 people to use Double, while one person’s driving it around. If you plan to stay in one place for a while, you could even park the robot, making it more stable. One disadvantage is that Double doesn’t have an auto-dock option, as it’s certainly easier to just go in the vicinity of the charger and press a button. Although, it’s more of a fun fact and not connected to the technical side of Double, this robot was featured in some popular shows like “Bones” and “Modern Family”. So, to sum up my experience, here are the pros and cons of Double: Pros: + Cheap if you already own an iPad + Easy obstacle avoidance + Great features (screen share, park, multi-viewer) + No software installation required + Tablet auto-charge + Lateral stability control + Great customer service Cons: - Works only with computers and iOS devices - Can’t tilt head - No auto-dock
6 years ago
anonymous
Today I had the opportunity to test drive Double Robotics' new Double 2 telepresence robot. Before I describe my experience of the robot itself, I need to preface that with a word of praise for Rochelle, the Double Robotics representative, who responded quickly to my initial request for a test drive, helped me set up a mutually convenient time, and then walked me through the test while cheerfully answering my many questions. The Double 2 may be driven from one's computer, tablet, or smart phone and relies upon a tablet to host calls on its end. I drove the robot from my PC and found the controls to be the simplest of any I've yet used. While, like other competitors' robots, you can drive the Double 2 using your keyboard's arrow keys, the only other necessary control to learn is how to adjust the robot's height (by clicking on one of two robot icons, a shorter one for the 4' height and a taller one for the 5' height). It is not possible to adjust the angle of the view upward or downward, or from one side to the other without swiveling the base. This probably won't be an issue for most users, however, and the simplicity of the controls means anyone can immediately figure out how to control the robot. The Double 2 allows users to share screens as well as hyperlinks, take photos they can save locally, add up to five additional viewers (although only the initial user can control the robot), and keep an eye on the base of the robot via a small window in the upper left of the main viewing window. If the robot will be stationary for some time and a user wants to add extra stability, clicking the "P" icon deploys front and back kickstands to "park" the robot. The designers have included a dual charge gauge showing the separate charge percentages for the tablet and the robot; when both are fully charged, the Double 2 may be used for about 8 hours before requiring a recharge. The robot moves slowly enough that catastrophic collisions are highly unlikely, so it does not include obstacle sensors (though future models might). If the robot does come into contact with an obstacle, it will stop moving in that direction until the user navigates away from the obstacle. Between the views offered by the regular camera and the floor camera, you shouldn't have much difficulty avoiding obstacles. At present, students and remote workers head the list of categories of people who use the Double 2. Rochelle mentioned that she works with about 20 young cancer patients who would be otherwise unable to attend school, but can keep up with their studies thanks to the ability to attend remotely via a robot. Similarly, with the rise of distance learning, universities are finding the robots useful for enabling online students to have "hands-on" access to professors and lab materials. As one example, Duke University uses the Double 2 to enable online nursing students to do treatment simulations. And, of course, students or workers who find themselves away from their families for long periods of time use the Double 2 to keep in touch, alleviate homesickness, and participate in family activities even when they can't be there in person. I found the Double 2 easy to use and have no hesitation in recommending it to any prospective users. Pros: --Very easy to for anyone to learn how to use --Isn't cluttered with unnecessary features, but is nevertheless adaptable to a variety of environments and uses --Viewing window and icons are well-laid out, and there is a nice wide angle of vision --Floor cam, with view of robot's base Cons: --No means of tilting the view upward or downward --No obstacle sensors
6 years ago
anonymous
VGo
My experience with VGo was pretty great – it’s cheaper than most of the other options on the market, it’s reliable and looks nice. In order to control the VGo, you need to download the VGo app. It runs on most operational systems (Windows, Mac and iOS) and installing it is really easy, especially if you follow the instructions. The variety of movement VGo allows you is simply amazing. You can move around using the arrow keys, as well as the mouse. You can tilt the “head” with both the mouse wheel and the keyboard, removing the need of moving back, in order to see what’s right in front of the robot. The pivoting option allows you to turn sideways and look at the person speaking, which can be a very useful in a discussion. Another amazing option is the PCEye Go, which allows you to control the VGo only with eyes. You can move relatively fast – if, for example, the robot is in a straight long hall, you enter turbo mode, reaching the full speed of 2 mph. The only weakness of VGo is that the depth perception isn’t that great. However, since the robot is very light (16 to 23 pounds), even if you manage to get it stuck, someone could easily help you out. Thanks to the multiple sensors, it’s impossible to fall down stairs and the design of the body protects it from getting damaged, if you hit a wall. VGo has some pretty neat features - you can use the text to voice option and increase the volume if the person you’re talking to can’t hear you. You can zoom in and take snapshots – the quality is amazing, thanks to the high-resolution camera and the LED lights. The battery life of VGo is great – the standard pack can last for about 6 hours, but you could get the 12 hour pack, if you need more time. Charging the robot is easy, as when you get close enough (10 ft), you can activate the auto dock option, so there will be no awkward and boring maneuvering! If you’re a doctor or a nurse, I highly recommend the VGo! The high-resolution camera will allow you to examine and communicte with patiens in distant wings of the hospital, saving you the trip there. However, one of the most popular uses of this robot seems to be in the area of education, as it allows home or hospital-bound children experience school and saves their parents a ton of money on private tutors. Overall, test driving this robot was great – although setting up the demo took some time (hence the 4 stars for Customer Service), the team was extremely helpful and nice. If you’re looking for a reliable, safe and relatively cheap telepresence robot, the VGo is certainly an option you should consider!
6 years ago
anonymous
The table-top Kubi telepresence robot is the first stationary robot I've tried, and I came away very impressed with its user-friendliness. As with other robots, the user can adjust the horizontal and vertical positioning of the tablet camera via separate sliders, but the Kubi also allows users to point and click on the video image in order to recenter the view. In addition to options to mute one's microphone, video, picture-in-picture, or the incoming audio, Kubi users can type and send messages (as well as to save common messages or phrases to a dropdown list to reduce later typing), and save up to ten views which are automatically linked to number hotkeys. Once you've saved a view, its number will appear in a box in a column along the left side of the video picture; you can either press the number on your keyboard to recenter to that view, or you can click on the number box to do the same thing. Each number box is also assigned a different color, a nice extra touch that makes it easier to distinguish between different saved views. What really impressed me were the options under "More Controls", represented in the upper control panel by three vertical dots. One option is to add info captions via "Show Tool Tips", which then appear as you move the mouse arrow over the various interactive options on the screen--very handy for figuring out what all the buttons and options do. Additionally, selecting "More Controls" opens an additional view on the right hand side representing the physical space of the room. Within this view there are two areas: the top area is a quadrant showing the relative positions of your saved views (reproducing the colored number boxes from your main picture), and the bottom area shows a top-down view of the office/room space to which you're calling. Within this latter area, you can draw a table to more accurately represent the meeting space, and any hotkey saved views appear here little human figures positioned around the table. A neat feature is that you can reposition these figures throughout the room or around the table, and then tweak the camera's vertical tilt for each figure to ensure that it's properly centered within the saved view. It's entirely possible that, from my description, the Kubi looks more complex and harder to use than it actually is. The good news is that Kubis are available for immediate test drives, so you can try it yourself from within your web browser (as I did, working from my desktop). There's no need to schedule a test drive in advance or download any propietary software. Again, this strikes me as very user friendly, and perfectly in keeping with how easy it is to use the Kubi itself.
6 years ago
anonymous
I took MantaroBot's TeleMe 2 telepresence robot for a test drive today and found it easy to understand, use, and customize according to my preferences. If you're unfamiliar with the emerging technology of telepresence robots, these robots are designed to allow users to interact with colleagues and remote physical environments during conference calls, security surveillance, and other teleconferencing situations. The TeleMe 2 allows users to maneuver it forward and backward, with gradations veering to the right or left, and also enables users to tilt the camera perspective up, down, right and left (and combinations thereof). Users move the robot by clicking and holding the mouse button, and moving the pointer on a small directional field window (the drive pad), or have the option of driving by using the arrow, Ctrl, and Alt keys on a computer keyboard. It is also possible to control the robot via a computer joystick; I haven't tried this out, as I don't have a joystick. One can adjust the camera perspective with one's left hand (using the A, W, S, D, and C keys) while controlling the robot's movement with one's right hand. The TeleMe 2 also allows users to create up to three preset camera positions. To make my maiden voyage smoother, my presets included straight ahead, downward (in order to double-check for obstacles), and backward (since this TeleMe 2 included the optional 360° pan), which gave me the ability to "look around" but quickly snap back to default views without needless extra fussing with the controls. The TeleMe 2 includes sensors to detect approaching obstacles, and automatically reduces speed in their proximity. The top speed is slow enough that novice users don't need to worry about inadvertently crashing into obstacles and damaging the robot. Users can play it even safer and adjust the speed of the robot, as well as the sensitivity of the drive pad, to minimize jerky movements while learning to maneuver the robot. The TeleMe 2 supports optional features such as the ability to pirouette (spin clockwise or anti-clockwise in one spot), headlights (with three settings) to accommodate users needing to move through or perform surveillance on darker rooms and areas, a laser pointer for use in meetings, and newer circuitry that allows charging of higher powered tablets such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. All TeleMe 2 robots feature a new drive train, quiet enough to be unobtrusive in business, hospital, or home environments. Operation of TeleMe 2 robots isn't limited to computer users, however; users can also operate the robots via tablet or phone. Businesses that prefer to keep all communications in-house can configure the TeleMe 2 to operate on their secure networks. During my test drive, I operated the robot via a combination of the Chrome browser (for the drive pad) and Skype for Desktop, but other browsers and audio/video conferencing software work as well. From my conversation with Kamal, who graciously answered my many questions during the test drive, I learned that in the near future they will be releasing a MantaroBot Controller for Android that will allow Android users to simultaneously run video-conferencing software and their controller app in the foreground; this will enable those customers that prefer to use one single mobile device to control their MantaroBot and simultaneously conduct the audio/video conference. If you'd like to try out this technology but are worried it might be too complicated for you, let me reassure you that the manual's operation instructions are easy to understand and the controls are intuitive. The TeleMe 2 robot is easy to use, allows remote users greater versatility as they interact with their colleagues and distant physical environments, and offers businesses a practical upgrade on existing teleconferencing or remote security surveillance technology.
6 years ago
anonymous
While the Double does have a better price point than most other telepresence robots, it doesn’t lack in functionality or design. Using an iPad as the controller, the Double’s Segway like platform is nimble, and the height adjustable neck is convenient so others don’t have to bend over to speak with you. When driving you’re able to pick up the pace by lowering the neck allowing you to hit a cruising speed. It would be nice to figure out an even faster speed, since when I’m following most people, they would often stop for me to catch up. Since the Double uses an iPad, you do lack some benefits of an integrated system like noise cancellation or wide angle camera view. It was difficult to hear when standing in the back of a room and we resorted to sign language so as not to cause a disruption, not knowing if I was going to be too loud on the other end. There is a back up camera if you can use to back up into the charging station, which I do suggest purchasing, otherwise someone on the other end will physically have to plug in to recharge you. PROS: Sleek design, Great price point. CONS: Limited to iPad, no Android. The Double is a great product. You can get cheaper telepresence robots, but the design and ease of use are great and is an overall good value.
6 years ago
anonymous
The Beam is top notch. When driving it around at conferences and busy rooms the noise cancelling microphones, allowed me to easily hold a conversation and not straining to hear them over the background noise. The wide angle cameras and sight-lines on the navigation screen kept me aware of what might come into my path, a real bonus when driving around crowded rooms, allowing me to to avoid feet, cables, and trash cans. There was a balloon that I got tangled up with, but otherwise the driving was smooth. It wasn’t jerky like I anticipated, so I often undershot when moving around. I did initially worry about getting hung up or falling over when I was crossing electrical strips, but there was enough ground clearance that I didn’t. PROS: Wide angle camera view, Noise cancelling mic. CONS: Cost can be prohibitive. Overall I really enjoyed the BeamPro really wish that it was offered at more conferences and events. My travel schedule sometimes needs me to be in two places at once, and I prefer this over many others I’ve controlled.
6 years ago
anonymous
We just needed something to improve our interoffice communications - better than video calls with Skype, better than our full on Cisco suite, Kubi lets us drop our woman in the field anywhere in the office. She can look around and talk to talk of us.
8 years ago
anonymous
Just from the fact that Scott Hassan from Willow Garage is the CEO I would say Beam is heading in the right direction. Suitable Technologies is even providing Beams (for an extremely small fee compared to traditional costs) at conferences to attend. Instead of flying out and getting a hotel room and all that I heard that you can just use a Beam and move around the conference. SWEET!

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