You know that episode of “The Big Bang Theory” where Sheldon rigged a robot with a camera and monitor so he could avoid the dangerous outside world and live long enough to transfer his consciousness to a robot? Yeah, well, this robot’s real and available now:
That was Engadget’s Myriam Joire “interviewing” a prototype at a hands-on in December. The robots are called Anybots, they’re $15,000 and self-balancing (very Segway-like), and they don’t accept downloads of your consciousness, not yet, anyway. But they do let you sort of be someplace other than where you are, kind of like a moving Skype on a stick. (Video isn’t two-way quite yet; the controller can see using the robot camera, but you can’t see the person on the other end back until they implement two-way video “soon”) You can “walk” into rooms or down the hall, have conversations with people you bump into, and otherwise do what you’d do if you were there, only you’re not there.
Here’s Myriam again demonstrating how it looks from the other end, controlled using a MacBook:
I’m sure the novelty would wear off quickly and I don’t imagine there are too many people who would consider it worth fifteen grand to be able to remotely cruise around an office. But if you have a use for ’em and a LOT of money burning a hole in your bank account, you can order by clicking here. I wouldn’t mind using one to help me cover conventions like CES, myself.