iRobot Wins at Best Use of an iPad

This robot caught my eye as I was wandering around Pepcom this evening. It's a reference design that was developed by iRobot, one of the leading remote controlled robot manufacturers. It's not for sale, but it's cool none the less.This one was conceived for a hospital setting, and it was developed in partnership with InTouch Health. It can perform some basic autonomous tasks, but it is mainly intended to be remotely controlled from another iPad or computer.I don't know when iRobot started demoing this model, but they've been working with InTouch Health since July of 2011.

It's a rather expensive design. Around the base are a set of sonar sensors, and the small black shape that is surrounded by blue is a laser rangefinder. The pedestal can be raised and lowered, and it has a pressure sensitive strip running around on the face and speakers on the upper surface The device on top is an iPad 3G, and it is connected via Bluetooth to the rest of the robot. Below the iPad is a Kinect type of motion and distance sensor.

The iPad is the signal processor for the remote user. It's not the controller for the rest of the tablet, I don't think; some of the responses happened too quickly. For example, it is a very difficult to tip this robot over; it will run away from you if you try. That was cool.

I known there's not much reason to post this on an ereader blog, but I thought it was very cool. but it wasn't as cool as it could have been; the iRobot techs wouldn't make it say Exterminate, Kill all the Humans, or even Skynet Rocks. It was fun to watch it move around, though.

About Nate Hoffelder (11579 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on iRobot Wins at Best Use of an iPad

  1. I saw this in action awhile ago when they demo it at CES last year. http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/06/irobot-debuts-ava-telepresence-robot-with-tablet-controls/

    Then they also showcased it at Google’s I/O last May. http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/12/irobot-ava-mobile-robotics-platform-hands-on-at-google-i-o-vide/ It wasnt until this May demo video that i really “got” what they have created here.

    They have created the Protocol Droid. this thing is in essence C3PO. Add some translation app running on the tablet and give it a tray of hors d’oeuvres and it can easily act in that capacity at a big international party. Give it a map of a museum etc and it can give tours

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