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Never Mind the Huge Floating Head, that’s My Boss [Video]

15 May 2011 No Comment

Telepresence is kinda like teleconferencing with a major upgrade. It gives the user not only the ability to have a video conversation with people thousands of miles away but also makes it possible explore and interact the environment. We’ve been seeing quite a few telepresence robots these days, even class room teachers that hope to change the language education system in Korea.

But one problem cited with telepresence bots is the issue of mobility. It can be difficult to pilot a robot around obstacles, up and down stairs or in a crowded room. Sony aims to solve that problem by getting rid of wheels or legs. No more rolling, they’ve decided to float. This unnamed project is a floating balloon with a video of the user’s face clearly displayed in front. It does look a bit creepy, even creator Tobita Hiroaki says his team finds that large floating head “very strange.” But this blimp takes care of the obstacle avoidance problem and has the added advantage of possibly giving the observer a bird’s eye view. This would be perfect for a boss checking on his employees to see they’re slacking off.

source: New Scientist via: PopSci