In the 1950’s comics and sci-fi films were renown for portraying Robots as being evil, running amok and like Prometheus Unbound (Frankenstein’s monster) biting the hand that created and fed them. While there were some benign robots, the theme of treacherous robots continued unabated, think HAL 9000 in 2001:A Space Odyssey, I robot (the book and film) , and even Transformers where robots battled it out on our behalves with us looking on like dim-witted spectators.
But here in 2014, the reality is quite different. Robots are getting more and more sophisticated and all are helping, not hindering mankind. Examples you want? Here’s one. He (or she?) is called QB and is being sold by the company Anybots-
In a nutshell it is a remotely controlled, self-balancing, “virtual presence robot/avatar”. If you want more catch-phrases for this form of communication, how about “mobile telepresence”.
The Anybot is controlled through a browser-based interface and allows you to be in virtual attendance at any event or meeting that you can’t make in person. Anybots are equipped with a speaker, camera, and video screen. They connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi and you activate them as well as control them remotely from your computer. Hook up a camera to your computer, you can show live video of yourself while interacting through the robot in a remote location anywhere in the world.
How to steer your robot? You use your keyboards four arrow keys to make it turn or go forward & back. A built-in guidance system augments the driver’s commands, making it easy to safely avoid people or objects and move through narrow doorways. It has a ground-breaking balancing system and unlike your home computer or server at work, won’t fall over!
Practical examples? A doctor could visit their patient from a remote location and those who are home-bound could use this robot to attend social gatherings, be they in or out-of-doors. The Anybot could be used in education to allow sick students to still participate with their classmates in and out of the classroom, as well as allowing educators the ability to check in or give lectures when they are away from the classroom.
There’s a lot of additional features and software you can add to make your Anybot individual and tailor-made for your needs.
So far, none of them have gone beserk and attacked humans!