Telepresence and the Future Management Style
The QB from Anybots Inc. is the recent arrival on the robotics scene. Yes it is called QB, though something in the neighborhood of $15K says you can rename your copy of it to whatever you like. Interesting and interesting looking product. The changed look from QA version takes it away from the humanoid look. The Monty and Dexter though still look more like humanoids.
This product is different from the ones introduced earlier by few dozen other companies in the past. QB seems to have climbed at least one notch up, if not many, in the “evolution status of the robots chain”. The description and function of the product , provided by Anybots Inc. , is intriguing to say the least. The robot serves as a proxy for the management. Anyone who has the access to control QB, can tele-presently manage the operation. The QB(s) effectively becomes the manager.
Asimo took the world by a pleasant surprise and people were awed and liked the presentation of the product by Honda. The utility of a robot, for assisting in the daily chores and mundane tasks performed by the humans, was well received.
Roomba was another robotic product from iRobot which was accepted by the consumers well. Though iRobot now has moved beyond the household vacuuming robot and moved into high technology conflict management robots, the roomba is still a viable product for them.
Sniffing and Rescue Robots are another “breed” of robots which have proven helpful in emergency situations. They can go inside the collapse buildings thru small spaces to locate and identify the identity and status of the trapped people and help design the rescue effort by sending the video images to the base station. They can go inside contaminated situations and measure the level of contaminants for the people to make the right decisions for decontaminating the environment before declaring it safe.
All these robotic devices when programmable thru the internet are responsive to telepresence concepts. Some of them perform the operation under instructions pre programmed once while the others operate in realtime under the control of a Telepresent Operator.
AndIThoughT© …….. this one from Anybots is also interacting with the humans in a position of authority as well. Its profile is not just a subordinated worker , just performing the tasks, like the other robots like Roomba , Asimo and few others.
AndIWondeR© …….. what will be the reaction of the people working in such environment? Will the human beings, being an adaptable species, will adopt to it quickly? Will this be the new norm, the Segway Style Telepresent Management?