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When a Robot Becomes the Life of the Party

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the perfect-for-next-mother's-day dept.

Robotics 36

theodp writes "The rich are different; the geek rich are different-er. The WSJ's Emily Glazer reports that when Richard Garriott de Cayeux threw a costume party the night before his wedding in Paris, his 82-year-old mother — too frail to travel from her Las Vegas home — still dressed up as an Indian princess and attended the party using a $9,700 personal-presence robot from Anybots Inc. At the wedding reception the next day, Mama Garriott shook her robootie on the dance floor, encircled by kids and family. Telepresence robots aren't just for the likes of Sergey Brin anymore — companies like VGo, Xaxxon, Willow Garage, and iRobot have introduced personal-presence robots that range in price from $270 for a simple model to $50,000 for a machine that allows doctors to diagnose illnesses remotely. And, as an old NY Times article noted, they can also make fine Robot Overlords."

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It would've been cheaper to hire a surrogate (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39313291)

Larry Middleman [wikia.com] could probably use the work.

Re:It would've been cheaper to hire a surrogate (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39314761)

He's worth every penny.

When a Robot Becomes the Life of the Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39315605)

Obama or Romney?

Re:When a Robot Becomes the Life of the Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39374123)

mickey rooney...nm obongo :D

Re:When a Robot Becomes the Life of the Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39399405)

Play DEM BONGO DRUMZ bongo bongo BONG!
 
btw i'm black:D

Garriott? Lord British!?! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313299)

My God - if I knew the gaming business were so lucrative, I'd have specialized in that, over network security!

Re:Garriott? Lord British!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39315143)

Garriot's a Legend. He's been in fucking SPACE. And not just some bitchass sub-orbital flight. He's been on the ISS mufukka. Word up. Peace.

Re:Garriott? Lord British!?! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39315285)

I'm sure Garriot made a lot in gaming but like most rich people he also started off wealthy.

face (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313343)

When a Robot Becomes the Nominee of the Party (-1, Offtopic)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313387)

A new documentary on the life of Mitt Romney.

Re:When a Robot Becomes the Nominee of the Party (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39313465)

I wish people would stop picking on him.

He's had a rough life on Wall Street and he only got away with a couple of hundred million dollars and his poor wife can only afford to drive two Cadillacs. Do you know how inferior she must feel when all her peers are driving Mercedes, BMWs and Jags?

And he can't drink coffee or alcohol. I'd be pretty flat if I didn't have a few mugs of coffee every morning too!

And then there's the hair. I bet he's exhausted sitting there every morning while his valet combs his hair to make it perfect!

And I don't know about you, but having to fly around on those noisy private jets can be unnerving!

*Sobbing* SO LEAVE MITT ALONE!

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39313507)

...that was probably the worst piece of advertisement prose I've ever read on /.

What was it about? Nevermind.

Problems (1)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313509)

First world problems.

Re:Problems (2)

pseudofrog (570061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313729)

First-world solutions to world-wide problems.

Re:Problems (3, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39315989)

First world problems.

I agree to an extent. However, 1st world tech also enriches the 3rd world. Cell phones used to be a solution to a "First world problem"... Now SMS is an important technology used by 2nd and 3rd world peoples regularly. Mobile computers used to solve a first world problem, and are now being used to teach school children in non 1st world nations.

I've not figured out a use case for these "presence" robots outside of the "first world"; However, I'm not arrogant enough to say there isn't one...

Re:Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39316883)

First world problems.

I agree to an extent. However, 1st world tech also enriches the 3rd world. Cell phones used to be a solution to a "First world problem"... Now SMS is an important technology used by 2nd and 3rd world peoples regularly. Mobile computers used to solve a first world problem, and are now being used to teach school children in non 1st world nations.

I've not figured out a use case for these "presence" robots outside of the "first world"; However, I'm not arrogant enough to say there isn't one...

Second world? Did Putin bring the USSR back?

First world - US and allies
Second world - USSR and allies
Third world - Unaligned countries

People still use first world to refer to developed nations and third world to refer to developing nations. Second world, however, hasn't existed for two decades.

Re:Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39317739)

I'm sure that a telepresence robot would go a long way towards shedding light on current news items that are too politically charged to allow for unbiased reporting. For example, telepresence robots during the Libyan revolution would have reduced the effectiveness of government news reports.

go full Avatar (2, Insightful)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313579)

You need a full gimball suit with force feedback at your end, with a full humanoid robot at the other. Then you'd really be at the party, not just video-conferencing. Of course it's just a matter of time till criminals get into the act. You can have your Obama avatar robbing banks (instead of the taxpayer).

the 1% (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39313645)

This just goes to show how gratuitous the 1% has become. Blowing this much money on a costume party? We need to take individuals like this more and redistribute the wealth to those who need it.

Re:the 1% (3, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39314537)

While the robot sounds expensive to buy, if you consider the cost of travel, it is saving considerable money (and carbon emissions) if it eliminates just two trips for a "real person," and the savings increase with each additional trip eliminated.

While one might argue that you could teleconference without a robot instead, there are many times when the robot facilitates interaction in ways that a camera on a wall cannot - ways that can make the difference between needing to be there in person and not.

The 1% has always blown absurd amounts of money on frivolities, back to "Let them eat cake" and beyond.

Re:the 1% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39315443)

Also, it seems like this is something you wouldn't need very often. If there were any significant demand for telepresence robots, renting them would probably make a lot more sense than buying them.

Re:the 1% (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39316217)

The 1% has always blown absurd amounts of money on frivolities,

The existence of infomercials proves it's not just the 1%.....

The posts so far suck... (0)

kanto (1851816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313701)

... and this one probably isn't any better. Thought I'd quib something about a bionic mother-in-law but after reading the others I'm just too depressed.

I have the utmost respect for Richard Gariott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39313717)

Richard Gariott decided that he was living in the future. Now he travels to space and dances with robots. He is a shining example of humanity.

Re:I have the utmost respect for Richard Gariott (3, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39313897)

Richard Gariott decided that he was living in the future.

"The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." -- William Gibson

Forgot us! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39313871)

www.robots-everywhere.com our android based solution is $160.

He's Bender, baby! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39313893)

Bender is always the life of the party.

Re:He's Bender, baby! (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39315919)

How can you go wrong with blackjack and hookers?

Wow grandma! Is that you?

OK... (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39314049)

OK, so I surfed to WSJ and looked the article over. I saw the picture of Richard Garriott with two women.

Remind me which one is the robot?

Re:OK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39322429)

Why, it's Richard Garriott of course.

Oh i dunno... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39314295)

Sounds like a really crappy party if some expensive ass 'robot' is the life of the party.

Must be nice to be that rich and clueless. Maybe.

How is this news? (1)

redback (15527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39315323)

Rich nerd buys expensive gadget, Film at 11!

10k is pretty cheap (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#39315455)

The parts alone would probably cost that much.

chicks and ducks (1)

cstacy (534252) | more than 2 years ago | (#39316333)

"When you take me out to the party in my surry with the fringe on...."

When a robot becomes the life of a party... (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39318035)

...you're at a party not worth staying at.
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