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The new Double-Telepresence robot now leads you like a sim

When my colleague James Vincent first experimented with the first robot for remote attendance for Double Robotics in 2015

When my colleague James Vincent first experimented with the first robot for remote attendance for Double Robotics in 2015, where he was slowly wandering in our New York office from his London headquarters, he described the experience as playing Doom, but in an office. 

The company's latest version of Android, Double 3, adds mixed reality video to allow users to click locations they want to drive rather than having to use a control panel, bringing the experience closer to chip control.

Double 3 now has a set of 3D sensors to allow self-driving, allowing the robot to navigate while avoiding obstacles. 

The new "Click-to-drive" interface shows points on the ground for areas the robot can navigate, and two 13-megapixel cameras allow users to navigate and zoom on the screen. 

Cameras can actually tilt up and down, making it easier to zoom in to read papers on a desk, for example. The entire interface can be controlled from your web browser or mobile app.

When my colleague James Vincent first experimented with the first robot for remote attendance for Double Robotics in 2015

While the previous duplicates of Double were mainly iPads on wheels - you literally had to install the iPad on top of Android to make it work - Double 3 now has a built-in screen to avoid the need for a separate tablet and Bluetooth connections.

When my colleague James Vincent first experimented with the first robot for remote attendance for Double Robotics in 2015


Telepresence robots are still a category of specialty products, but Double Robotics says they have sold more than 11,000 robots so far. 

The idea is that it might be useful for some teleworkers, or situations in which you want to have a physical presence more than just Skyping, but hopefully, it won't happen if you're a doctor who provides devastating news to a dying patient.

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Double 3 will be launched in September at a starting price of $3,999. 

For people who already own a Double 2, the $298 independent Double 3 head is compatible with the Double 2 base, allowing you to add new control features to the old model.

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