Jay Liew of Double Robotics is hanging out in a somewhat hidden space at the very end of the 500 aisle of the Macworld/iWorld show floor. But you may not actually see him at first when you stop at the Double Robotics booth. Mostly likely, you’ll encounter an iPad with Liew’s face on the screen, an iPad mounted on a robotic perch on wheels. That’s Double, the company’s telepresence robot.
Double requires two iPads and an Internet connection. One iPad mounts on to Double, while the other is used as a remote control—and by remote, we’re talking about being miles apart. An app provides button controls for moving Double forward, backwards, left and right. The remote control also uses the iPad’s camera to stream your picture on to Double’s iPad, which uses its camera to give you a view of what Double “sees.”
Double has a retail price of $2499, but the company is taking pre-orders for $2000. Liew said the company plans to start shipping Double in limited quantities in about a month.