Re: [robots] Meetup - A Robot In Every Home

From: Bob Mottram
Sent on: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 2:07 AM
On 17 August 2010 02:38, Fred Nikgohar <[address removed]> wrote:
> Our robot, TiLR, cost about $10k and doesn't really
> look like a robot... it does not inspire the emotional connection we each
> have with "robots". It is also prohibitively expensive for consumers... ALL
> THAT IS ABOUT TO CHANGE.

I think so.  The necessary components have all been at consumer price
levels for some time now.  What remains is:

a)  Some company or organization to bring all the components together
into a package saleable at a price which people can afford (even if,
as with early home computers, it's in kit form rather than solid
state).

b)  The ergonomics of the design need to be right.  Things like field
of view, height of the camera/s, size and viewing angle of the screen,
the amount of noise that the robot makes as it moves, ease of use of
the GUI, and so on.  If the ergonomics aren't considered then you
won't have a commercial success no matter how good or cheap the other
technology is.

c)  A business model built around telerobots.  The details of things
like telemedicine, teleholidays, telecare or telecommuting to an
office need to be thought out in such a way that services can be
delivered via telerobot.  This probably means some ebay-like web
system where people can advertise telework and operators can do jobs
and get paid, together with a reputation system so that good
teleoperators can be distinguished from bad ones.  In the case of
holidays users might be able to test drive at a resort for a few
minutes, then pay additionally to stay for longer.

- Bob

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