French software developer Gostai (creators of Urbi, an open source robot operating system) are finally getting their feet wet with their very first telepresence robotics platform. Jazz Connect allows you to roam and view the robot’s surroundings and hold conversations through its camera, speaker, and microphone. Unlike most of its competitors the robot’s neck is actuated, allowing you to look around rather than having to move the whole robot to get a better view, and it can connect to your cell’s 3G network.
The operator launches a user-friendly web application through their favorite browser on a PC or smartphone to gain control of the robot. And if face-to-face communication is important to you, an optional LCD screen atop the robot’s head (not pictured) broadcasts your webcam feed, allowing others to see you while you wander around the office as the robot.
The 1 meter tall Jazz Connect costs 7,900 Euros (approx. $10,400 USD), fitting neatly between the $6,000 USD Vgo and the $15,000 USD Anybots’ QB which launched this month. The robot can also double as an autonomous security guard with nightvision for 8,400 Euros ($11,000 USD), operating for up to 5 hours before autonomously docking at its charging station.