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Are Telepresence Robots Becoming the Norm for Companies With Work-at-Home Employees?
1/17/2013

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The $5,000 VGo telepresence robot is one of the least expensive players on the market today. This bot can go a full day - 12 hours with the extended battery.  (Source: VGo Communications Inc.)
The $5,000 VGo telepresence robot is one of the least expensive players on the market today.
This bot can go a full day – 12 hours with the extended battery.
(Source: VGo Communications Inc.)

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robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
Re: New meaning to "telecommute"
robatnorcross   1/18/2013 2:49:07 PM
NO RATINGS
If you divide $16,000 by 52 (weeks per year) then 40 (hours per week) you get a number superisingly close to the current minimum wage rate. I actually like this idea. We can replace all the middle managers who really don't know much with minimum wage robots that probably have about the same knowledge. On the other hand why not just replace them (the middle managers) with ex fast food french friers.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The return of the Dickie!
Charles Murray   1/18/2013 5:28:01 PM
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If we as a society are really concerned about oil consumption, your idea seems very logical, Ken E. Imagine how much fuel would be saved by keeping half the work force at home and imagine how emissions would be reduced.

mrdon
User Rank
Platinum
Re: A way to reduce overhead
mrdon   1/20/2013 7:40:49 PM
NO RATINGS
Charles, I agree. I like the concept of using this technology for the benefit of reducing corporate overhead and personally saving money on commuting. Good way to add dollars back to the paycheck. If telepresence can be used in Distance Education, seems like a win for Work at Home Employees. Nice article Cabe!

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A way to reduce overhead
Charles Murray   1/22/2013 8:50:47 PM
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Another relevant issue is the effect on urban expressways. Traffic on big city expressways is growing fast. Telepresence could also have an effect there. At some point in the next 20 years, I think it's going to be a necessity in some quarters.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Great Application in Certain Circumstances
Nancy Golden   1/23/2013 2:58:14 PM
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I just don't see them as being cost-effective. Working from home with teleconferencing capabilities is so much cheaper and I don't see what you gain from a robotic presence that you wouldn't have with a multimedia one. BUT I LOVED the application for Devon - the boy who couldn't attend school because of his allergies that would cause his personal attendance to be life-threatening. Now THAT is a worthwhile application!

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Great Application in Certain Circumstances
Cabe Atwell   1/23/2013 3:36:26 PM
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I don't think enough money is being spent in the area of technology for the disabled. When companies like Apple have $100 billion in surplus cash and spend zero in this area, I am disappointed even further.

C

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Great Application in Certain Circumstances
Nancy Golden   1/23/2013 3:55:35 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Cabe. Sometimes I think we need to stop and ask ourselves what our goals are. Is the ultimate goal of technology to improve life - or to make money? We need to find a balance because obviously R&D requires cash flow and hard work and risk deserves to reap the benefits, but if we lose sight of our humanity in the process, than we haven't gained anything.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Great Application in Certain Circumstances
Cabe Atwell   1/23/2013 4:08:33 PM
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Glad to get someone on my side.

Science!

C

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A way to reduce overhead
Ann R. Thryft   1/24/2013 4:54:22 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree with Chuck. But the so-called explosion in telecommuting that was supposed to happen in the 90s, and then the 00s, didn't. The problem isn't presence or absence of telepresence robots, or even the communication issues. I think much of it is managers not feeling in control over their employees.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A way to reduce overhead
Charles Murray   1/24/2013 6:58:45 PM
NO RATINGS
You're right, Ann. Sometimes it's the soft issues that end up subverting the best-laid plans of engineers.

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