I have been writing posts for RobotLab the better part of five years. Few things have excited me as much as the Double Robot virtual presence device. And absolutely nothing (not even the money) has done as much to make me feel like one of the RobotLab staff (I live over 1950 miles from the office!).
I am taking liberties with the name here: Double Robotics refers to their splendid robot as a Telepresence Robot, but I find myself unable to get around the term “virtual presence device” because the first time I viewed anything remotely similar was on the TV show Big Bang Theory.
On this occasion, Sheldon the--anti-hero?--of the series, is represented remotely in a restaurant by a mobile computer with his face on the screen. He is speaking to his friends when he sees Steve Wozniak (The Great and Powerful Woz!) sitting at another table. Sheldon wheels over to speak to him, and Mr Wozniak says, “Oh hey! Nice virtual presence device!”
Now as I am sure you realize, RobotLab is chiefly in the business of providing educational technology for students and schools across the country (If my posts over the last five years haven’t conveyed that bit of information than I haven’t been doing my job very well!). And when I say “educational technology” I mean robots. Robots like those in our RobotLab Box that assist teachers by keeping kids engaged and interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses. Double Robots are a valuable new addition to those silicon assistants by allowing all students the chance of a classroom-centered education.
Numerous studies have shown that the classroom experience is a valuable one for students, both in their response to the subject matter and their socialization. But what about the poor kid that can’t go to school for whatever reason: sickness or disability; and even weather and driving distance in some extreme cases. What can educators do to provide the classroom experience for them? Yes, that's where I am going with this! Double Robot is the best available answer to that question--at a reasonable price--today!
In an earlier post (here) I described the Double Robot in a bit more detail and provided a few video’s that I thought proved my point. There are others on the web: the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management, for example, uses the robots in its courses for students remote from their Cambridge, Massachusetts Campus; which I believe goes a long way toward showing that the Double Robot is not a toy.
In the opening paragraph of today's post I said that I lived almost two thousand miles from the RobotLab office. The office is in San Francisco, Ca.; I live in Southeastern Minnesota.
And I haven’t been in San Francisco since 1968 when I got off and on planes on my way to an all-expenses-paid vacation in Southeast Asia; that’s the way I viewed things until a few days ago when I got my first shot at using the Double Robot in the RobotLab Office. The image below is what I saw.
The pretty girl smiling at me is Priscilla; a lady I had never met before; but now, after a short conversation through Double Robot, I feel like I know her. By the way, the good-looking dude peeking out from the image on the upper right is yours truly and the image as seen by Priscilla.
Before this I’ve always had to communicate with the office through the old standbys: you know, phone, skype, email and texting. Communicating through Double Robot is a whole different game: more intense, more personal, and much more a matter of actually feeling as if you are there in person.
If you are an educator and truly believe that the classroom experience is important, then you owe it to your profession to take a look at the Double Robot experience. As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of videos that explain Double Robot; I’m suggesting that you actually visit the RobotLab office in one of our Double Robots and talk with Priscilla or one of our other cool Robotlabians and see for yourself what Double Robot could do for your own remote students. Contact us through this website.