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:
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.
Subscribe to Continue Reading
Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.
$179.95/yr US PRICE
The Best of the Physics arXiv (week ending February 18, 2017)
This week’s most thought-provoking papers from the Physics arXiv.
Insect-Like Robots Walk Faster When They Ignore Nature
If six-legged automatons want to get ahead, they should only leave two feet on the ground.
Who’s Brave Enough to Be a Test Pilot for Flying Cars?
They’re still years off, but airborne automobiles are inching toward reality—and the companies building them are looking for pilots.