The friendly robot deputy

A remote device that enables telepresence via the Internet

Now robots are gradually moving into everyday life. Of course, there are those designed to do real work like mowing lawns or vacuuming, but the real invasion will be by robots that are or serve as toys. And if they can be useful like iRobot-LE, then we will quickly get used to the new housemates, while the children grow up with them quite naturally.

The friendly robot deputy

The robot, which weighs more than 20 kilograms, does not look particularly animal-like like some of its colleagues, but it does not have to be in order to be able to show the course of a personality. R2-D2 from Star Wars was the model for iRobot-LE, in order to create a robot that is as "personal and emotional robots" to develop. It is praised for its long, elegant neck, for example, but also for its allegedly coarse vocabulary, which it uses to express itself "emotional" expressing himself. Its head actually looks like that of an SF creature, and it is also just high enough to make contact with a seated person at eye level, which was obviously important to the manufacturers to perhaps bring some equality into the game. He can also look out the window or on a table. "We wanted the robots to be friendly and for people to understand them as helpers in the house", says Helen Greiner, co-founder of iRobot. In addition to the house robot, which can even go up and down stairs and avoid obstacles, the company is also launching a robotic doll together with Hasbro.

With a price of 5000 US dollars, iRobot-LE is not exactly cheap, but for that it can do a lot and is still a pioneer for the following crowd of new relatives. Its most attractive feature is probably that it can be controlled not only in the house via a remote control, but also over the Internet from a computer or from a handheld with a browser. The company calls it an extension of its own person, an avatar in real space that enables telepresence. The robot is equipped with a video camera, a microphone and loudspeakers, so that the user can remotely scan the house with it to see if everything is still in order, or communicate with those present. Of course, this also makes it a little Big Brother. By the way, its computer runs on a Linux operating system, and it can wirelessly connect to the Internet within a radius of 50 meters with a transmission rate of 700 KB/s.

To maintain relations in a remote society, this personal deputy is ideal in the house. The company suggests that, for example, if you still have to work in the office, you could use the robot to read a bedtime story to your children. elderly people were not so lonely, and you can visit them from time to time "visit" or just to check if everything is alright. Also for dog owners or owners of other pets iRobot-LE is simply indispensable, because here you can always see what they are doing at the moment.

How pleased the children or other people in the house are when the owner, who hangs around God knows where, sends his Fernling by every now and then remains to be seen. At least they can, for example, take out its battery or not let it go to power up again, thus crippling it to finally have peace of mind: "Keep an eye on your home or make sure your loved ones are safe and secure while you are away.". The Internet connection is supposed to be secure, but maybe crackers have new interesting tasks ahead of them.

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