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Cisco and iRobot Create Sheldonbot-Like Telepresence System

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the say-hello-to-my-electronic-friend dept.

IT 123

sweetpea86 writes "Cisco has teamed up with robotics firm iRobot to create their own enterprise version of the 'Sheldonbot' from US comedy series The Big Bang Theory. The robot, known as Ava 500, brings together iRobot's autonomous navigation with Cisco's TelePresence system to enable a remote worker sitting in front of a video collaboration system to meet with colleagues in an office setting or take part in a facility tour."

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123 comments

iRobU (-1, Flamebait)

alphatel (1450715) | about 10 months ago | (#43962867)

This show is:
  • Not funny
  • Not brainy
  • Not relevant

It's like 9gag in full tilt, minus the images.

Re:iRobU (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 10 months ago | (#43962941)

I disagree with you on all those counts, but I'd suspect most males between 15 and 50 watch the show primarily because of Penny.

Re:iRobU (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963003)

Not really, Penny is getting pretty fat. There are other shows with much more attractive ladies to look at.

Re:iRobU (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#43963089)

I have always prefered Bernadette myself, She just has curves in the right places.

Re:iRobU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963461)

She's not short, she's fun sized!

Re:iRobU (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43964717)

I have always prefered Bernadette myself, She just has curves in the right places.

Hidden well under her clothes is the "right place"? Most men would beg to differ. Admit it- you're turned on because her voice sounds like Howard's mother, and that gets you going.

Re:iRobU (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#43963435)

Not really, Penny is getting pretty fat. There are other shows with much more attractive ladies to look at.

yeah but if you're a really pathetic "nerd"(hipster white knight) then you must watch shows which aren't about boobs to watch boobs.

AANYHOW.. Back to the fucking story. why are we having a story about another one of these? https://www.google.com/search?q=telepresence+robot&num=30&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=fi&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&authuser=0&biw=1472&bih=815 [google.com]

like fuck, did someone really think that the shows writers came up with the idea??

Re:iRobU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43964933)

Because she likes nerdy types? Anyway, that show is circling the drain. It's going down the well-trodden path of replacing the original concept with "who-fucks-whom", from sitcom to rel(ationship)com, so to speak.

Re:iRobU (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#43963189)

You must be just a miserable person.
Here is a little tip for life, being overly critical of everything isn't proof that you are smart or know what you are talking about.
I like the show, however sometimes I feel they go too far to try to portate the stereotype of the geek, but once you realise that, just let it slide and enjoy the show. You probably won't get a life awakening moments in it, but get a few chuckles out of it.

It is probably the best show around that express Geek type culture out there without it, being overly negative about it. These guys do find Girls, they do work past some of their personality flaws. They are shown as Humans, not as some sort of freaks. Is it perfect, no. But I wouldn't expect it to be, otherwise it wouldn't appeal to much of an audience.

Re:iRobU (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about 10 months ago | (#43963351)

I guess you're a fan of that crap-pile show too. Here's a tip for you: stfu you miserable, dripping cunt.

Re:iRobU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963731)

You must be a bundle of joy for the people around you!

Re:iRobU (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#43966835)

As trolls go, you really suck at it, son. I just visited your comment page, nothing whatever there except trolling and flamebaiting and every single comment at -1. Moron.

How about you just get the fuck off this site, asshole? Why do you do that, just a pussy little cunt who'd like to do it in real life but don't have the guts?

Eat shit and die, loser.

Re:iRobU (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about 10 months ago | (#43964221)

You must be just a miserable person.

I disagree. My good friends Gordon Ramsey and Simon Cowell say I am quite fun and an "all-around cheery bloke"

Here is a little tip for life, being overly critical of everything isn't proof that you are smart or know what you are talking about. I like the show, however sometimes I feel they go too far to try to portate the stereotype of the geek, but once you realise that, just let it slide and enjoy the show.

Not to be "overly critical of everything" but you just had two typos.

You probably won't get a life awakening moments in it, but get a few chuckles out of it.

Neither happened. Perhaps this is the new way of the /. in which case I should use my robotic arm to shelve myself and permanently archive any dissension from something as important as "Sheldonbraut".

Re:iRobU (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#43966995)

Not to be "overly critical of everything" but you just had two typos.

Teh first typo was a normal geek letter transposition I illustrated in the first word of this sentence, the second wasn't a typo but rather British spelling. Both show that he wasn't using a spell checker which shows that he is, in fact, literate.

When you bash fans of that show you're bashing Buzz Aldrin, Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning astrophysicist George Smoot, and the actor Wil Wheaton, all of whom have said publicly that they are fans.

If you don't think it's funny it's because you're not smart enough to understand the humor. In fact, my daughter bought the first two seasons on DVD for me saying "I know you'll like this, you'll get all the jokes."

Sorry for your lack of intelligence, son.

Re:iRobU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43964265)

They are shown as Humans, not as some sort of freaks.

They're caricatures. Sheldon is the mad scientist. Howard is the horny Jew. Raj is the fresh-off-the-boat immigrant. Penny is the airheaded waitress. Despite the trappings of geek culture, the show is actually a pretty formulaic sitcom with simple plots and low-brow jokes. (Raj can't speak to women, so he takes experimental medicine and takes off his pants. A man in tighty-whities is always good for laughs.) They could all be factory workers and the show would be pretty much the same.

That said, if you judge it according to what it is trying to be, it is in fact very well done and a good example of a formulaic sitcom.

Re:iRobU (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#43967113)

They could all be factory workers and the show would be pretty much the same.

A show about factory workers would have those factory workers shooting a high powered laser at the moon? Would a show about factory workers have Stephen Hawkings, George Smoot, Buzz Aldrin, and half the casts of STOS and STNG as guest stars? Would a show about factory workers have jokes about subatomic particle physics, astrophysics, and math? Would a show about factory workers have have a joke about someone flash freezing a banana with liquid nitrogen because they didn't have a knife?

I don't think so. A factory worker wouldn't get half the jokes, and the people I know IRL who don't think it's funny and don't like it are all uneducated high school dropouts.

Re:iRobU (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 10 months ago | (#43966449)

The IT Crowd is probably the best show around that express Geek type culture out there without being overly negative about it.

FTFY

Re:iRobU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43966491)

So he hates a show that other people like, that makes him miserable? Here's a tip for life, you have terrible taste.

Re:iRobU (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#43966723)

I like the show, however sometimes I feel they go too far to try to portate the stereotype of the geek

The four main characters, to me, are all caricatures of me when I was young. That makes it even funnier to me. Apparently to Buzz Aldrin, George Smoot, and Stephen Hawkins, all fans of the show who have appeared on it poking fun at themselves. The Buzz Aldrin one was hilarious; Howard had just returned from the ISS and wouldn't shut up about space until Bernadette gave him a video of Aldrin passing out Halloween candy. "Here's a Mars bar. Mars is in space. Here's a Milkey Way. Here's a moon pie. I've been on the moon!"

If you can't laugh at yourself you have no right to laugh at anyone else.

And they make fun of stupid jocks as much as they make fun of us, like when the four were measuring the distance to the moon by shooting a high powered laser at the mirror astronauts left there, and Penny's stupid boyfriend says "You're shooting a laser at the moon? Aren't you afraid you'll blow it up?"

That last paragraph you made was insightful.

Re:iRobU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963325)

Extreme virginity detected. Solution: User alphatel must speak to people outside of internet forums and small circle of equally angry geek friends.

What did you expect? (2)

denzacar (181829) | about 10 months ago | (#43964605)

It's a sitcom for people who enjoy laughing at stereotypes presented in that show.

It's like a show about Asian people where the punchline is "those crazy Asians - they're so funny when they're all Asian and stuff".
Or a show about black people where the punchline is "them crazy niggers - they're so funny when they're black and stuff".
Or a show about women where the punchline is "those crazy cunts - they're so funny when they're all cunty and stuff".

Cases above were inspired by a colleague's review of "Will & Grace".
It went something like "Do you watch Will and Grace? Those homos are so funny".

Re:iRobU (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43964849)

Damn, I wish I'd looked at the front page when I was home at lunch instead of replying to messages in the /. message center; I can't log in here. But DUDE!!!

* Not funny
Not if you're not smart enough to understand the jokes.

Not brainy
The actress who plays Amy holds a PhD in neuroscience [wikipedia.org] (note that she plays a neuroscientist). Nobel winning astrophysicist Dr. George Smoot guest starred in an episode; he's a fan. Hilarious line from Dr. Smoot: "With all due respects, Dr. Cooper, but are you on crack?" Stephen Hawking is a fan as well and guest starred twice (Sheldon's reaction when Hawking pointed out a math error Cooper had made had me rolling on the floor). Not brainy? WTF? Of course, my answer to #1 explains #2, for example in The Terminator Decoupling [wikipedia.org] it begins with an electrical terminator but the episode is about them riding on a train with Summer Glau. [wikipedia.org]

Not relevant
With all due respect, Dr. alphatel, but are you on crack? Not only has Dr. Smoot and Dr. Hawking guest starred, so has Buzz Aldrin (you know, the guy who went to the moon with Neil Armstrong?) and most of the casts of ST:OS and ST:NG, most of whom play themselves. Slashdotter Wil Wheaton (I'll point out that he's Wesley Crusher since I doubt you're a nerd) is a recurring guest. If you think it isn't relevant I'm wondering if maybe you're on the wrong site? I guess you think HHGTG is not funny, brainy, or relevant, either.

Sheesh, dumb kids.

mcgrew here, I'll log in tonight and verify my identity.

PS, the moderators got it wrong (unless Wheaton was moderating in which case "flamebait" was indeed accurate). Whoever modded you up doesn't belong here any more than you do.

Re:iRobU (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 10 months ago | (#43966297)

Obviously you're going to get flame baited here, but those of us that enjoy art would agree. The show sucks. Can't watch it. Its the worst sitcom I've seen in years. It has the quality writing, acting and directing of a Disney Channel show.

A solution looking for a problem (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 10 months ago | (#43962879)

The robot, known as Ava 500, brings together iRobot's autonomous navigation with Cisco's TelePresence system to enable a remote worker sitting in front of a video collaboration system to meet with colleagues in an office setting or take part in a facility tour."

You could take a facility tour or do a video conference with someone holding a smartphone for a LOT less money.

There are excellent uses for telerobotic systems. This is not one of them. This is a solution looking for a problem.

Re:A solution looking for a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43962983)

Because a person carrying around a phones time is free.

Re:A solution looking for a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963295)

in china... ROI on one hour minimum wage of 15.2 yan vs a Cisco robot with smartnet...

Cost/Benefit (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 10 months ago | (#43963481)

Because a person carrying around a phones time is free.

I can pay someone to carry around a phone for a LOOOOONG time before I could justify paying for a robot to do the same thing. The accounting is pretty easy here. Multi-thousand dollar robot + service staff or cheap intern + smartphone. Not exactly a tough call to make if you care about not wasting money.

Re:Cost/Benefit (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 10 months ago | (#43964745)

You are clearly on a popular strategy here:

"We do not need telephones, because we have messenger boys" - a British Government - presumably some time in late 1800's.

Re:Cost/Benefit (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 10 months ago | (#43965147)

You are clearly on a popular strategy here:

"We do not need telephones, because we have messenger boys" - a British Government - presumably some time in late 1800's.

telephones provide instant gratification versus messenger boy, what does this big expensive fragile slow robot give you versus slave with a phone?

Re:Cost/Benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43966043)

> what does this big expensive fragile slow robot give you versus slave with a phone?

Not having the slave see all the sensitive stuff you're viewing?

Re:A solution looking for a problem (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#43963501)

This is a minor annoyance affecting people with lots of money being used to justify the development of technology.

The problems with someone carrying a smartphone are that the view will wobble, the carrier is in control of the movement, the speakerphone may not be sufficiently clear, and the phone itself is too small to be easily recognized as a person.

Sure, a smartphone is fine for giving an ill relative a presence at a family gathering. For a multi-million-dollar contract hinging on the tour of a facility, those tiny annoyances getting in the way of clear communication become major obstacles, worth throwing money at until the "visitor" can control a stable view of the facility, speak and hear clearly, and easily have all of the social graces that are expected of a presence rather than a phone call.

Re:A solution looking for a problem (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 10 months ago | (#43963601)

The problems with someone carrying a smartphone are that the view will wobble, the carrier is in control of the movement, the speakerphone may not be sufficiently clear, and the phone itself is too small to be easily recognized as a person.

So mount it to a cart, shout instructions through it, get a better speakerphone and recognize the fact that a robot is not a person. I give facetime tours to family members all the time. It's not perfect but it's fine and having a robot would not actually make the tour better, particularly if there were stairs involved.

For a multi-million-dollar contract hinging on the tour of a facility

If it is a multi-million $ contract you're not going to do that through a remote robot in the real world. You are going yourself or you are sending a trusted agent on your behalf.

Re:A solution looking for a problem (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#43963885)

So mount it to a cart, shout instructions through it, get a better speakerphone and recognize the fact that a robot is not a person. I give facetime tours to family members all the time. It's not perfect but it's fine and having a robot would not actually make the tour better, particularly if there were stairs involved.

While it may be amusing to think that executives are willing to shout and wait for someone to follow their orders, people don't work that way. If a person (even an executive) is curious about something, they want to just go look at it, not ask somebody else to push them over toward that whatchamacallit by the thingy under the wossname.

You are going yourself or you are sending a trusted agent on your behalf.

Eventually, yeah... but the first few facility tours don't need to actually involve a physical presence. It's a sniff test to make sure the outfit meets the unwritten requirements, runs according to the unspoken standards, and generally fits what the executive's looking for. That's hard to trust (or even describe) to a low-pay staffer, so the executives (or other highly-paid officials) end up wasting a lot of time and money flying around to all the facilities being considered. If a facility can offer a telepresence robot as an option, the executive gets to run the tour himself, look at everything he wants to, and still have dinner at home. That makes for a happier prospective customer, which makes for a better chance to win the contract.

Re:A solution looking for a problem (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 10 months ago | (#43964275)

While it may be amusing to think that executives are willing to shout and wait for someone to follow their orders, people don't work that way.

Yeah, actually they do. And it doesn't have to be executives doing the shouting either. If you are doing a teleconference where a walkabout is necessary, it's not remotely difficult to get someone to point a camera at the things someone at the other end of the cable wants to look at. I'd be happy to tote around a camera to show off my manufacturing plant to someone remotely should the need ever arise. Not a big deal at all.

Eventually, yeah... but the first few facility tours don't need to actually involve a physical presence.

Do you have the foggiest idea how many facility tours you would have to do to justify one of these things even if the technology provided some advantage? (and it doesn't provide any advantage) I am an accountant so let me make it simple for you. There is NO company that could possibly economically justify one of these for the purpose of conducting tours. Even if you paid someone $50/hour (which would be absurd) you'd have to use the thing for several hundred hours to just break even. It makes no economic sense whatsoever.

This is a geeky, because-I-can sort of technology with very narrow, if any, application in the real world.

Re:A solution looking for a problem (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#43965215)

Do you have the foggiest idea how many facility tours you would have to do to justify one of these things even if the technology provided some advantage?

If the tour makes a good enough impression to land an extra big contract, one.

(and it doesn't provide any advantage)

I work at a financial services firm whose clients are the ones making those multi-million-dollar deals. Yes, they care about doing things themselves, having those little annoyances stripped away, and just getting business done without wasting time giving trivial orders. There are a few old rich folks who want others to do the work for them, but mostly the people who are still making big deals want to be a part of those deals, not be led around on a leash.

You can keep blindly asserting that this is a frivolous technology, but it just makes it more obvious that you have no understanding of how sales works.

I am an accountant so let me make it simple for you. There is NO company that could possibly economically justify one of these for the purpose of conducting tours. Even if you paid someone $50/hour (which would be absurd) you'd have to use the thing for several hundred hours to just break even.

Alright, Mr. Accountant. Please close the payroll book and look at the marketing budget, instead. Under the "investment" section, note the amount spent on accommodating tours, including coffee, lobby maintenance, distributed sales literature, and the insurance policy for letting visitors poke around the facility. Now look at the ROI for those, and go ask your sales team if a robot would help their presentation.

This is a geeky, because-I-can sort of technology with very narrow, if any, application in the real world.

Just like LED displays, rapid prototyping, data analysis, and all the other narrow-application technologies that are first used for marketing, then move on into less profitable fields.

Re:A solution looking for a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963519)

No, you can't. Someone has to pay for the person moving the smartphone/tablet around. If you have enough demand for a telepresence robot it'll be a lot cheaper then paying a worker to ferry around the remote end in the long run.

We do what we must, because we can (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 10 months ago | (#43962893)

Ahh... I'm not sure I see the benefit, physical interactivity is still at a minimum, and cost would be higher. What will this do for a meeting that a regular video conference can't? Shake hands -? A tour can be done with a wireless webcam.

Just one thing (4, Funny)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 10 months ago | (#43962937)

It needs a robot arm. So that I can buy my Mountain Dew and Hot Pockets at the grocery store without ever leaving my house.

Friendbot 1.0 (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 10 months ago | (#43963517)

It needs a robot arm. So that I can buy my Mountain Dew and Hot Pockets at the grocery store without ever leaving my house.

There is a neat invention for that that already exists. It's called a friend. Try one out sometime.

(I kid, I kid...)

Re:Friendbot 1.0 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43964359)

I had trouble with the whole friend thing, because I didn't see where I could buy one online from my basement. However, eventually I discovered the right place to purchase those services and immediately had a friend come over.

She looked confused when I asked her to go pick me up some Mountain Dew and Cheetos down at the corner, but she came back with them. I thought 300 dollars was a little steep, but I figured that I needed to buy in bulk with this service.

She was actually a pretty attractive friend, despite the troweled on makeup, and she must have not had a lot of business, because all she had on under her coat was her underwear. Poor thing, I gave her a few extra bucks to buy some clothes.

Hmmm .... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#43962943)

Didn't Wally do this in Dilbert a while back?

Sounds like an idea which most people will wonder why they're doing it.

Demolition man? (1)

witherstaff (713820) | about 10 months ago | (#43963355)

Wasn't this in demolition man? I vaguely recall wesley snipes destroying a bunch of robots with human faces having a meeting.

Re:Demolition man? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963477)

Yeah dude, but most people here where born after that movie has been in the cinemas, and al gore had not invented the internet yet ;)

Re:Demolition man? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#43963803)

Yeah dude, but most people here where born after that movie has been in the cinemas, and al gore had not invented the internet yet ;)

And those of us who were around thought it was a crappy movie and have been trying to forget it since then.

Autonomous Navigation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43962961)

So, while I'm trying to talk to the person on the other end of the robot, it will be either picking a random direction to go, spinning in ever widening circles, or running into a wall?

Re:Autonomous Navigation? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 10 months ago | (#43963309)

You left out vacuuming the floor and providing a mobile bed for the cat

Re:Autonomous Navigation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963511)

I keep think about going to the RC Hobby shop for supplies to build an RC Mower I could sit on the deck under the umbrella with a cold drink while mowing. I'm not lazy my back just can't handle it anymore that happens when you get old.

Re:Autonomous Navigation? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 10 months ago | (#43963713)

I keep think about going to the RC Hobby shop for supplies to build an RC Mower I could sit on the deck under the umbrella with a cold drink while mowing. I'm not lazy my back just can't handle it anymore that happens when you get old.

i wonder if you could just use the brains from one of those robotic vaccum cleaners and wire it up to more powerful servos/motors to control the mower that way little or no human interaction is required assuming you mulch the grass rather than bag it.

You know that it wasn't a prop, right? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43962973)

Sheldonbot is a Texai Remote Presence System from Willow Garage [willowgarage.com] , so recreating Sheldonbot is just copying some other company's product.

Re:You know that it wasn't a prop, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963111)

Don't watch the show, but clicked to post this.

Cisco isn't doing anything innovative here, unless the joint venture includes proper Roomba features.

Will I get paid more for remotely vacuuming as well as working?

iRobot's Navigation Tech (1)

VorpalRodent (964940) | about 10 months ago | (#43962999)

I have a Scooba (Roomba for mopping). If its ability to navigate is an example of the "Autonomous Navigation" described in the summary...well, it's not particularly reassuring about the future of telepresence.

Richard Garriot uses something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963087)

Trendsetting even at home. [kxan.com]

I wonder if Cisco's costs less than $15,000... hahaha, who am I kidding? It's probably 100k easy.

I want the consumer version with robotic arms ... (1)

argoff (142580) | about 10 months ago | (#43963101)

... that way I can hire somebody from India to clean my house, mow the yard, do dishes, and laundry remotely over the internet. At an estimated 70K for this one, I don't think that's going to work out for me anytime soon.

Re:I want the consumer version with robotic arms . (5, Funny)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#43963165)

Oh lord, I can hear it now. "They don't even have to immigrate anymore to take our jobs!"

I bet... (1)

arfonrg (81735) | about 10 months ago | (#43963109)

...if I used one at work, no one would notice (until something broke).

Re:I bet... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 10 months ago | (#43963271)

I'm not buying this until it has a TASER available. Or at least a pointy stick.

Re:I bet... (1)

arfonrg (81735) | about 10 months ago | (#43963307)

For $99.99 you can have a LASER attached to it's head...

Re:I bet... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#43963929)

For $99.99 you can have a LASER attached to it's head...

And for about $2 you can duck tape a pointy stick to it.

Re:I bet... (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 10 months ago | (#43964049)

And for about $2 you can duck tape a pointy stick to it.

If you are using $2 worth of duct tape you are using way too much, you don't need the whole roll.

Re:I bet... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#43964161)

I was counting the pointy stick as most of that cost. ;-)

But you definitely want your pointy stick to be solidly attached -- that way you can have telepresence robot jousting on Fridays.

But, really, anybody with one of these better be saying "exterminate! exterminate!" at every possible opportunity, or they've missed the point.

Re:I bet... (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#43964181)

He said duck tape. It's rather more expensive than duct tape, since they have to catch and render the ducks.

Re:I bet... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#43964317)

Except, the original term was "duck tape" and not "duct tape" -- because it served as waterproofing for ammunition boxes and had nothing to do with ductwork.

It's actually not a very good use on ducts, since it doesn't do the right things -- in some places, it's against code to use it for ducts.

If you have duck tape on your ducts, whoever put it there was lazy (or cheap).

Re:I bet... (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | about 10 months ago | (#43965253)

My 5th grade teacher was vehemently against some of the language of the Midwestern kids that came thru his classroom. Thanks to him I stopped saying ain't, warsh, 'at instead of that, 's when it wasn't plural...etc. "Duct" tape not "duck" tape was one of his peeves. Years later when I heard what you said above...I so wanted to track him down and tell him. But I have promised not to be that kind of an asshole anymore. One day at a time.

Awesome (1)

torjeh (1472865) | about 10 months ago | (#43963121)

If you can't find a use for this, I suggest you try a bit harder. In my humble opinion, these are awesome. But you probably want one that you can develop for yourself, and add external devices such as cameras or other sensors. Here's one example of a mobile video conference unit that has found good use in health care. http://www.giraff.org/?lang=en [giraff.org]

Many other telepresence robots. (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 10 months ago | (#43963273)

There have been quite a few of these things. MantaRobot [mantarobot.com] , Vgo [vgocom.com] , Anybot [anybots.com] , and Texai/Suitable [suitabletech.com] , all have commercial, mobile, telepresence robots available now. They all shove a videophone in someone's face.

Vgo probably has the best use case. They sell it to medical facilities, so doctors don't have to move around as much. This is an indication of the market. Telepresence only works if the person operating the device is someone the listeners have to suck up to.

Gotta minute? (1)

cockpitcomp (1575439) | about 10 months ago | (#43963287)

This would be a great tool. When I worked onsite and needed a key person's time, I followed the time honored tradition of camping out in their cube until my questions were answered. Working offsite I just get their voice mail. If I could jump into one of these, I could corner people the same way.

Re:Gotta minute? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 10 months ago | (#43963757)

until the reach over and flip the volume down to zero and switch off the monitor. cube camping work because they cant turn you off.

Re:Gotta minute? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43964205)

Unless you live in Texas.

Re:Gotta minute? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43965867)

cube camping work because they cant turn you off.

You haven't seen my coworkers.

infinite discordian possibilities (2)

nimbius (983462) | about 10 months ago | (#43963371)

1. immediately proceed to the bathroom, become known as "that bathroom robot that slowly sings 'bad romance' by lady gaga all day long"
2. have conversation with boss in which you slowly inch further away from her until you're nearly down the hallway.
3. only one speed: bat-out-of-hell fast. insist a racing stripe, cubicle nametag change to 'the crimson terror'
4. stand near vending machines, stare forcefully into coworkers eyes.
5. "Leave" work at the end of the day, exit parking lot, local intersection, merge onto freeway.
4. attend meetings, take your place at the table, begin slowly rotating around and around. do not stop until the meeting ends.
3. telepresence camera can and will be pointed at anything. this becomes a known fact as your attendance on tuedays is now referred to as 'that electric bellybutton on wheels'
2. once per day, fly out the door, race through the parking lot and directly into the quarter panel of the most expensive car you find. insist this is a bug.
1. show up to work, insist the use of the telepresence robot during all interaction. refuse any requests that do not utilize it.

Re:infinite discordian possibilities (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 10 months ago | (#43964797)

attend meetings, take your place at the table, begin slowly rotating around and around. do not stop until the meeting ends.

This alone justifies the entire research budget!

Marissa Mayer (1)

2phar (137027) | about 10 months ago | (#43963407)

Marissa needs to get one of these for checking up on all those staff that aren't allowed telework.

PennyBot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963433)

Bazongas...

Combine it with Oculus Rift (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43963715)

If you combined it with Oculus Rift that could potentially save a lot of travel time.

Batteries (1)

Tighe_L (642122) | about 10 months ago | (#43963765)

This is great, it will be good for about 3 months then the battery won't hold a charge. :-) Just like my two useless Roombas.

Re:Batteries (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 10 months ago | (#43963945)

This is great, it will be good for about 3 months then the battery won't hold a charge. :-) Just like my two useless Roombas.

Which brings up an interesting idea. Maybe while your telepresence CEO is moving about the office looking for slackers, a built in Roomba in the base could vacuum as he went...maybe follow the walls or shoot off at 45 degrees if he hits an obstacle.

Does this mean... (1)

DiEx-15 (959602) | about 10 months ago | (#43964013)

We are getting closer to having our own Turrets from Portal?

Because I can totally live with my own version of Sheldonbot.

BBT didn't invent the presence-bot (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#43964123)

Cisco has teamed up with robotics firm iRobot to create their own enterprise version of the 'Sheldonbot' from US comedy series The Big Bang Theory.

Presence-bots were around long before Big Bang Theory made them hilarious. This just looks like a fancier version of the same with smoother curves and all the wires on the inside.

Re:BBT didn't invent the presence-bot (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 10 months ago | (#43964547)

Im thinking your universe has a different Big Bang Theory than mine...
Hilarious is a huge overkill for anything on that show.

Re:BBT didn't invent the presence-bot (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#43965429)

Hilarious is a huge overkill for anything on that show.

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot that you're the arbiter of what's funny and what isn't. Everybody? Did you hear? BBT's not funny any more, arkane1234 said!

Of course, I should acknowledge the apparent irony of calling you out for this when I've previously declared it "hilarious" without a six-foot-high disclaimer that that's my personal subjective opinion. The difference, of course, is that that was a throw-away adjective casually tossed in for mild comic effect, and that I didn't post solely to prove my inherent superiority by sneering down my nose at people who enjoy something I don't.

moCd 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43964939)

1. Therefore it's here, b0t what is

Oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43965733)

Thought this might have something to do with a Sheldon Plan, disappointed.

Re:Oh... (1)

Space (13455) | about 10 months ago | (#43966515)

Fail.
I believe you tried to refer to "The Seldon Plan" from Asimov's Fondation series.

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