Are Robots Part of the Future of Telework?

Many futurists are predicting that robots will someday take over our jobs. But if you happen to be a teleworker, don’t sweat it: Robots may still be your friend.

Earlier this week, Ava Robotics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based start-up, unveiled its first product: Ava, a new solution that combines video and robotics to teleport remote workers, as well as others, to a distant (or maybe a not so distant) work site. The solution–which integrates technologies from iRobot and Cisco–is all about enabling greater collaboration, giving remote workers the ability to navigate around distant locations as if they were there.

OK, it may not be at a Star Trek “beam-me-up-Scotty” level, but there’s no denying it certainly has a sci-fi quality to it.

Ava Robotics was spun off from iRobot, which manufactures and markets robotic vacuums for the home. The company last year raised $5 million in seed money and plans to sell the robots for around $1,000 per month.

It joins other vendors that are pursing this market, such as Double Robotics. (Radian Insights estimates that the telepresence robot devices market could reach $8 billion by 2023.)

So can we expect to see these robots roaming our office spaces in greater number anytime soon? Your guess is as good as mine. But there are obviously folks out there today who are betting it’s a real possibility.

Watch the below Ava Robotics’ video to get a taste of what we could be in for  …


David Shadovitzhttp://
David Shadovitz is editor emeritus and former editor and co-publisher for HRE.