Telepresence: Our Robot Colleagues


Story by Lisette Sutherland

Telepresence is a combination of technologies that lets you feel like you are present somewhere other than your actual location. Most of us are familiar with it in one form or another. Standard video conferencing applications as well as your personal smartphone can all be considered “telepresence” but there are also more “far out” forms of telepresence too. My favorite is robots!

These robots are basically Skype on wheels and can be driven around simply by pressing the arrow keys on your computer keyboard. The sound and video quality are great – and there’s even the possibility to share screens.

This form of telepresence is useful because instead of just being on the screen of a fixed device, we now have the element of mobility and a sense of the third dimension because we can experience sound spatially while in the robot. These interactive sensory elements bring us a number of steps closer to having a more human virtual experience!

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