Telepresence robots, or remote presence devices, are one possible future of corporate America. Sold for videoconferencing, they can look slightly goofy, like the wheeled head-on-a-stick Anybots QB. Others are not so subtle, such as the iRobot Ava 500, which is about the price of a small luxury car. The Webot from Wicron is a telepresence bot whose E.T.-like head houses a built-in monitor, a camera, and a microphone – the remote user's eyes and ears. These are mounted on a turret platform that can pan and tilt. It performs by way of a PC and the Internet. The control interface is utilized through the user's website or Wicron's. Software platforms include Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and the Webot can work with multiple Wi-Fi networks up to 5.8 Ghz. Moving around at over 1 mile an hour, it can observe its surroundings and converse with people. Sound and video quality depends on the bandwidth of the user's internet connection, and traffic is reduced using a new codec.
The Webot is 1.4 meters tall and can overcome obstacles of 20 mm in height, and climb up 15-degree grades. There are cameras on the bottom for collision avoidance. These characteristics are especially beneficial given the myriad functions that Wicron proposes for this bot. For instance, it is suggested for use in the monitoring of employees and their conversations. To further highlight the redundancy of human workers, Wicron says that its bot can be applied to assist customers, stock merchandise, keep shop appearance in order, supervise room layout, and other organizational tasks. Wicron suggests employing the Webot as a mobile advertisement, even going so far as to point out that the robot’s body can be pasted with company logos and ads.
The Webot has an operation time of up to 12 hours, but it is unclear how long it needs for charging. The robot has auto-charge via tablet but Wicron's website doesn't specify if there's auto-docking. It appears that for the micro-management and surveillance of whatever human employees are left, and as a billboard-on-wheels, the Webot is an executive director or merchandiser's dream come true. For low-level staff and middle-management, perhaps not so much.
The Webot puts video conferences and remote viewing in your hands, giving you greater control of what you wish to see.
Webot robot can provide are the ability to provide remote assistance in shopping centers.
Significantly improved video conferences. The ability to put out the bot control interface on own website or use ours.