To call the Swivl C Series a telepresence robot is both to overstate the case and to underestimate what it's capable of. Unlike the Double Robotics Double series it's not a stick-thin version of Wall*E that wanders around checking on coworkers through two-way video chat on an iPad. It's more like a personal cameraman that rotates on a small, round base to create high-quality video of someone walking around giving a lecture. It's intended for classroom use, which is probably what the "C" stands for, creating videos of a teacher speaking to students than can then be shared on the Interwebs via the Swivl Cloud. Students can log-in to the cloud to review what went on in the classroom or view it for the first time if they weren't there. Teachers can use it to review their own performance.
Here's how it works: The Swivl (which can swivel -- get it?) is placed on a table, chair, whatever, in front of the lecture stage with an iPad on top of it running video capture software. The teacher carries a remote, called a marker, on a lanyard and the Swivl uses the marker to track the teacher's movements, following them as they roam around the room. Additional markers (there are four, including the primary marker carried by the teacher) can be placed around the room to capture audio from key positions.
Making videos of lectures is nothing new. Just watch any TED talk. But the Swivl C series puts the necessary hardware into a single user-friendly package and adds just enough robotic intelligence that professors no longer have to contact their university's AV departments to find a videographer who can wire the lecture hall for sound. Plus, students no longer have to place recording devices near the podium to capture audio in lieu of taking notes. (Do students still do that or do they just put their iPhones into recording mode while doodling in their notebooks?)
Swivl throws in software packages to help teachers practice their techniques and student to offer comments. They also sell a high-quality wide angle lens for teachers who want to go full Cinerama.
Easier to use, provides a higher quality audio recording, faster tracking and response, a simpler Lightning interface, and the ability to connect four markers.
The robot follows you as you move, rotating your smart-device with a 360º pan and a 25º tilt...The new C-Series robot has twice the response time of previous versions.
Professional quality audio...designed to capture instruction and class data during group and class-wide activities.