A new telepresence robot called Vgo (from Vgo Communications) was recently unveiled following Anybots’ QB telepresence robot in late May. The Vgo doesn’t have a LIDAR sensor or a telescoping neck, is significantly louder when it moves, and doesn’t have much clearance for getting over bumps in the floor which may prove slightly problematic. That said, the Vgo is priced competitively at $6000 USD (service fees included), or roughly 1/3rd the cost of the QB, and has comparable battery life.
The 120cm (4′) tall robot is controlled using a simple application that allows a user to move and look around. The camera automatically tilts towards the floor when moving so you can see any obstacles in the robot’s path, but it also uses sensors to detect and avoid bumps and falls. With Willow Garage’s TEXAI telepresence robot on the horizon, there’s a real boom in telepresence at the moment; it should be interesting to see how they fare. You can watch a video of the robot in action at the Boston Globe article below, and a few photos follow after the break.