Hello everyone! Long time no see! I’m sure you’re wondering what I’m going to dish out onto the table so without further adieu, let me introduce you to Botiful, the telepresence robot. Telepresence is a pretty nifty idea, which allows users to control ‘avatars’ of themselves in order to participate in events at distant locations. These avatars can come in many shapes and forms, if you recall, there is a scene in the movie Demolition Man where the concept is in use: Pretty rad right? Only issue with this movie portrayal is that the users at the conference can’t move around and fully interact with the world through their robotic representations. There are however, machines that do have the telepresence ability and spatial movement- unfortunately they cost a kings ransom on top of being bulky monstrosities that tank all over the place. Now, thanks to Claire Delaunay the problem is solved with her lovely, or should I say Botiful robotic invention.
Costing only US$299 (a massive improvement to it’s thousand dollar counter parts) this little robot can be synchronised with any android phone via bluetooth or cable. It hold’s your precious cellar devices using a magnet in a housing compartment on its back, which is capable of tilting the phone up or down giving the machine a more friendlier character. This bad boy also houses three wheels on the bottom, allowing the user to playfully move about the environment in all directions- this is great for kids who miss engaging in activities with parents that often have to travel overseas.
If you know what a computer is then you’ve probably heard of Skype, which is what this deft bot was originally designed to be used with. If hypothetically speaking, a Botiful robot suddenly fell from the heavens and onto your chiseled lap (granted that the robot and your legs survive the collision of course), you would become the most fun person to Skype call. Why? Well, because if you place a Skype video call to a Botiful-owner, you will view what you see below: buttons. Everybody loves buttons.
Other than the obvious directional controls, there will also be a spray of applications that you can choose from such as a facial recognition one. This app automatically moves the robot to keep the speakers face centred in one frame, just like the Demolition Man clip, only much cooler. The little bot currently needs callers to be on their Apple, PC or Linux computer to video conference with it; however, they are expanding on this so that phone based video calls can come through as well. Currently Delaunay (the pretty woman seen above) is trying to raise production funds on Kickstarter. Even though her estimated retail price is $299USD, a pledge of $199 will get you one! Here are some of the fun colours you can select for your bot!
If you’re not convinced by this article go check out Claires pitch video here and watch the comical fun you can have with it below!