Invading a conference in a robotic doppelganger

Bryan Alexander

This evening I attended the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI)’s annual conference, but not in person.  From my Vermont home I operated a  telepresence robot from Double Robotics, and drove around the ELI reception interacting with people.  Some first impressions:

The Double Robotics device (which I insist on calling a doppelbot) was simple, even elegant.  It’s an iPad on a stick, mounted on rollers, like a stripped-down videoconference system mated to a baby Segue.  I couldn’t operate it without the help of Michelle Diaz, who patiently charged the ‘bot then booted it up.

I couldn’t see that, of course.  Instead I saw through DR’s Web interface, which was similarly simple:

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