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.
Credit: Joshua Scott
Product: ConnectR Virtual Visiting Robot
Cost: Around $500 in a mid-2008 pilot program
Other products in this section:
Subscribe to Continue Reading
Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.
Otto Cofounder says AI Will Be Widely Available in Trucks Within 10 Years
Cofounder of the Uber-owned firm says totally self-driving trucks will come in “baby steps.”
Elon Musk’s OpenAI Unveils a Simpler Way for Machines to Learn
The group says it has a more practical way to get software to learn tasks, such as steering robots, that require multiple actions.
Uber’s Woes Show the Difficulty of Commercializing AI
The recent departure of key research figures is a troubling development for a company with grand ambitions for self-driving cars.