It may look like the popular Roomba vacuum cleaner as it scoots across the living-room floor, but iRobot’s new ConnectR is actually a way for people to interact with distant relatives or pets. The robot is equipped with a Wi-Fi antenna, a speaker, a microphone, and a tilting, zooming video camera. A remote user can pilot the robot over the Internet, carrying on long-distance conversations and watching video of live events.
Product: ConnectR Virtual Visiting Robot
Cost: Around $500 in a mid-2008 pilot program
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