Telerobotics (TR) is a term you may have heard previously, but it might not be one that produces the same meaning in your head. The problem isn’t in the brain itself, it’s its nature that this word is frequently misused in mainstream media as well as by non-technical professionals. While “telerobotics” and “telepresence” are frequently utilized as interchangeable terms (they are closely related concepts), the differences are important to know. In this first Full Article, we are going to clear up some of the misconceptions and get a look at what, exactly, these two things really are before we wade into the ways in which these will affect the security/surveillance markets. Telerobotics is often confused with the concept that Telepresence (TP). Both have a role to influence the way that future security systems will behave. What’s the distinction between telepresence and telerobotics? Telepresence lets you feel like you are in a remote place while actually being located in a remote area. It’s currently about sending the highest resolution audio and video into the remote viewer to recreate the surroundings in which the sensing/recording equipment is located. This kind of technology will be focused on increasing the amount of information the camera and microphone can detect and the utilization of bandwidth. The most popular examples of consumer-oriented tools are Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts. These are all basically Telepresence apps that are accessible from your cell phone or computer. Apart from the emphasis on live interaction that is what is happening in the surveillance industry. The audio and video feeds are as current as it is possible to make and one can theoretically monitor those feeds from anywhere. This could mean that the future applications for security telepresence may be more about access control or real-time interaction with areas that are sensitive or dangerous to humans who are the hosts. Telerobotics takes Telepresence one step further. If the term “telerobotics” refers to a remote set of eyes and ears, then TR is eyes with ears, hands and feet. It lets you not only hear the location and see it with two-way audio, but also to physically interact with objects that are in the remote location and to navigate the TR hardware in the space. This ability could drastically alter the way surveillance and security are done. A telerobotics system can be programmed to open doors, physically interact with individuals, or even trigger a fire alarm if the situation warrants it. It can also be used to welcome guests into the facility or any of the many tasks that would normally require a human being to be present in a particular location. Don’t be restricted to the camera’s focal points of cameras and looking around to see what’s happening out of shot. When using TR, an operator can control the hardware from wherever in the facility, allowing exactly the view needed on any spot they desire without the need for cameras in a set. At present, the physical limits of these systems will be the same as most remote technology. Bandwidth between controller and TR setup, the need to maintain the remote hardware/software and considerations tied to getting a TR setup back in functioning should it experience a significant issue, while remote are all considerations that impact those who use TR for security.
According to a new study, it appears that the demand for these robots is growing quickly and will have a huge impact on collaboration and communication within the health, education as well as consumer markets. But what exactly are telepresence robotics and what are they doing? Telerobotics is the field of robotics involving the controlling semi-autonomous robots from a distance, chiefly by using a wireless network or connected tethers. It permits users to not just video-conference however, they can also move during their chat. According to the report of Tractica an intelligence firm that concentrates on human-technology interaction beginning from a starting point of 4,200 units in 2015, annual telepresence robot unit production will grow to 31,600 by the year 2020, with overall shipments during the five-year projection period reaching close to 92,000. Where do they want to go? What is the next stage in video conferencing? “The telepresence robot is the next stage of evolution beyond stationary video conferencing,” says the chief analyst Wendell Chun. “These new systems take advantage of the existing telecommunications infrastructure as well as recent advances in robotics technology. The core enabling technologies for these robots are already widespread in the market, with costs on a steady downward trajectory, and no significant barriers exist to broader levels of adoption in the years to come.” But a report by James Vincent for the verge.com and who utilized a telepresence robot to give an impression at the US workplace at home in his UK home, suggests the author wasn’t entirely convinced of the concept. The robot he used to telepresence him as “an iPad on a Segway because, well, that’s basically what it is. There is a pair of squat wheels at the bottom and a telescoping pole that extends from three feet to five feet tall.” The conclusion was that he could have had been on Skype, “This is one of the problems with telepresence: it’s been around for years, but it’s still not clear why anyone needs to use it.”
The Tractica report identifies possibilities that go beyond videoconferencing. Healthcare the first adopters are hospitals that provide patients with access to leading medical specialists across the globe. The technology also allows medical professionals from outside the hospital to movearound, view, communicate, and participate from distant locations. For teachers who cannot be in the classroom or for students who are not mobile They can now be in the classroom while having to be present. For executives that cannot be in multiple places at the same time, they can get into the factory for inspections or attending an important event without spending time on an airplane. Many innovative robotics products were displayed at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year in Las Vegas. CES 2011 , brought more than 140,000 professionals in the industry who could see the very latest technological products from the 2700 companies that exhibited at the show. Among the most popular highlights from this year’s event, were the telepresence robots that were introduced developed by VGo as well as Anybots and iRobot. VGo gives you an avatar that has the ability to move around easily in a remote location without actually being there. The experience is commonly described as being “your own avatar in a remote location.” VGo’s telepresence robot lets you go beyond the boundaries of conventional video conferencing, and actually be there in a real sense! With a price of approximately $6,000, it seems to be the most affordable option currently available, though customers also have to buy an additional annual service contract at $1,200. To get supplementary information on telepresence robot please read this. Silicon Valley start-up company Anybots has just launched their QB robot that can be telepresence-enabled, featuring a webcam that shows the controller’s face, meaning it gives you the illusion of being present even when you’re far away. This QB robot, targeted at business executives, was available for sale at the start of February , with the price of $15,000. The QB is described as the first robot for telepresence that lets executive to collaborate remotely through an easy interface. iRobot is known as being the maker of the Roomba and Scooba lines of cleaning robots, has created a working prototype that uses sensors similar to those on Microsoft’s Kinect which allows for seamless navigation. It is able to move on wheels and can be controlled with an iPad mounted on its head that is adjustable. AVA, which stands to “avatar,” has two PrimeSense sensors, as well as speakers, microphones, laser rangefinders, and bump sensors for obstacles which suit the robot’s primary purpose that is video remote presence. Although in a development phase one thing industry experts are most pleased about is that iRobot AVA has an apps platform, allowing developers to add new functions to the interface. iRobot insist that the product is very much an experiment and that there is no information on a date for its launch or cost as of now. Therefore, the world of video communications and telepresence is evolving at a dazzling speed. Executives don’t have to go on a surprise visit to the locations that aren’t performing. They can view, communicate and know the happenings in their workplace without leaving the office! This sounds too amazing to be true, but it’s still too early to judge if telepresence robotics will revolutionise the way we communicate and whether these companies can really develop a market for the remote-controlled robot. If you’re skeptical or not the telepresence robots are here and the appearance of VGo along with Anybots and iRobot on the show floor at CES 2011 marks the beginning of the next generation of telepresence solutions and avatars, which will be able to transport our users around the world!
Everywhere in the world, companies seeking to reduce their expenses for travel and carbon footprints are examining innovative ways of communicating and collaboration. A highly efficient solutions in the current business environment is Telepresence is a new technology that is the next advancement for video conferencing systems. Video conferencing, the combination of real time audio and video to talk over distances – has been around since the beginning of time but until recently, the technology did not provide a truly effective solution to corporate needs. It changed after the advent of more efficient methods of network communications, which has led to access to high speed broadband providing dramatically more bandwidth. This increase in bandwidth, coupled with the increasing sophistication and availability of high-fidelity recording equipment and processors, is the main reason behind the invention of the top quality video collaboration technology called Telepresence. Taking its name from the Greek prefix meaning “distant”, this type of system offers high definition and stereophonic sound at an unimaginable amount of real-time, which is encouraging and assisting remote collaboration. Apart from a fast communication link Telepresence setups are dependent upon the use of high-definition televisions (HDTV). Screens and cameras are positioned in a Telepresence “boardroom” so that the participants located across from one another are able look at each other directly. This creates the illusion that they are in the same room the other participants, even though they are only connected by the Telepresence system; in short, it eliminates the challenges of video conferencing technology in which the arrangement of screens and cameras lead to participants who have drastically different eye lines from one another, and causing a impression of immersion collaboration. The screens are connected in a large, wide screen which simulates the opposite end of the boardroom desk, complemented by an extensive audio system that has speakers located so that sound appears to be coming from the person at the remote site. This stands in contrast to the setups that use sound from fixed places, like the center on the table, or an overhead speaker. Since the technology is based on an array of well-placed modular setups, telepresence systems require a boardroom that is dedicated. But the expense of having an area specifically dedicated to virtual collaboration is usually compensated by the reduction in travel expenses as well as the time lost for face-to-face meetings. With the growing pressure on businesses to make cuts in their environmental footprint – especially in the shape of financial incentives Telepresence is becoming a popular option for many businesses both large and small.