Suitable Technologies set to market new 'Beam' Remote Presence Device

September 27, 2012 by Bob Yirka, report
Suitable Technologies set to market new 'Beam' Remote Presence Device

(—Suitable Technologies, spinoff of the famous Willow Garage robot technology company, has announced that they are ready to start taking orders for their new Remote Presence Device (RPD) they call "Beam" and will begin delivery of the devices to customers next month. The Beam, the company says, is a step up from competing products in several ways and is aimed at corporations looking to hire people that will remain working in remote locations, but want more than simple devices with spotty connectivity.

Telepresence machines are becoming more common in the workplace as more companies seek to take advantage of the cost savings of not having to fly staff to different locations to have them attend meetings or work with staff onsite. They have evolved from video conferencing systems to include features such as the ability to remotely control a device that rolls around on wheels. One such machine, the Texai, developed by Willow Garage was featured on the popular American television show "The Big Bang Theory."

One of the main complaints of the new telepresence machines has been Wi-Fi connectivity issues. Because the machines rely on such communications to operate, moving between hot-spots can present problems. To fix this, the engineers at Suitable Technologies added four radio receivers that are each able to operate independently and to hand off to each other so quickly that no loss of signal is ever detected. That's just one of the improvements the team has made over competitors they say; another is a bigger screen that is large enough to allow the remote person's head (the company calls them pilots) to appear life size, which helps those speaking to them engage more easily. They've also added some weight to the machine (courtesy of bigger batteries that allow for eight hours between charges) to give it more heft and a remote charging station that can be used without any local assistance. It also has two cameras, one front facing, another looking down, and multiple microphones to help with noise canceling and in hearing people not directly in front of the device. The Beam is remotely controlled either by keyboard keys or a mouse.

Cost for the Beam is a step up as well, at $16,000 per unit with an additional $950 for the . Suitable Technologies believes that potential customers will see the machines as well worth the cost as they will get a RPD that is always on and ready to go, can maneuver in any direction, and doesn't need any assistance in getting around or in recharging.

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5 / 5 (1) Sep 27, 2012
Do you know this one? The three Beam devices enter the bank: "This is a robbery, people! Everyone down to the ground. Move it, move it, move it."
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 27, 2012
Too bad..the Darleks, oops, I mean "The Beams" don't do stairs and can't select floors in the elevator and they keep getting the signs wrong for men and women's bathrooms....exterminae vous, exterminae vous!

not rated yet Sep 27, 2012
Didn't I see this on an episode of Big Bang Theory.

The one where Sheldon gets a cold and decides that the world is to dangerous, so he constructs a telepresence device almost identical to those in the video to take his physical place at the university and social life.

Personally, I think it would work better with a Segway drive system and helium filled animal shaped balloons strung from the top for added happiness.
2 / 5 (1) Sep 27, 2012
But screens are already ubiquitous. Why not hook into existing screens?
3 / 5 (2) Sep 28, 2012
Didn't I see this on an episode of Big Bang Theory.

Great to see you read the article.
1 / 5 (1) Sep 28, 2012
Didn't I see this on an episode of Big Bang Theory.

Great to see you read the article.

Vendi....does not HAVE TO READ...He is all-powerful, you knew that right? He just watches TV, for fun...and giggles... and lets reality catch up to his perceptions. He comes to THIS website, to post, just to show us how much more advanced his way of life really is!
REALITY is finally catching up to his Big Bang Fantasies.
Hey Vendi...these guys watched the same show as you did! Are they relatives of yours?

DARN IT VENDI...Why didn't you invent " The Beams " and then we all could have said, "...Hey, look at that...Vendi The Almighty watches Big Bang and ripped off their invention! Bad....bad-Vendi! sit... SIT!...bang! Play dead - Vendi!"


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