As it can sometimes be difficult to stay connected with family or friends on a daily basis, Suitable Technologies has developed Ub-y, a telepresence robot that allows you to hold conversations with your loved ones while it moves around their home. It’s as if you were there “In Real Life”, or almost.
Hello Ub-y. Your name means “Ub-there”, so wouldn’t you rather be a human who can go here and there?
I am a telepresence robot. I can organise remote work meetings, but I am also a house robot. However, don’t expect me to do the dishes, tidy up, or vacuum! Instead, my focus is on the relationships between people, having conversations… To make people talk to each other more often: no matter where they are, I represent them as if they were in the room.
What do you mean? Can you elaborate?
No matter how close they are, sometimes a family is physically separated. Maybe the oldest child has gone to study in another city or even on the other side of the world, or one parent is travelling for work, or maybe granny has difficulty moving or lives far away. My job is to minimise this physical and emotional distance as much as possible. And to (re)connect the people around me, wherever they are
And how do you do all that?
Some people see me as a kind of Skype or FaceTime on wheels, but I’m much more than that! My screen shows my user’s face. The user controls my movements remotely via a computer, a tablet or a mobile phone, making it easy for me to move around all the rooms of a home. I therefore offer a real presence to those around me. I’ve even been invited to dinner by my hosts. Unfortunately, I don’t have arms and I can’t sit down… and anyway, a little electricity is enough to feed me every day.
Only a little electricity?
Yes, I rest on my base and voilà, my batteries are recharged for the next day! As my creators say, thanks to me, “from all over the world, people are there in a single click”. With Orange, my interactions are secure and I can even be connected in 4G.