Dora, a student project, allows people to show up to work robotically. But it’s not a remote working robot in the sense that DaVinci surgical robots are: it doesn’t actually do jobs in response to human programming or movements.
Instead of taking the human beings out of the work situation so that automation can perform tasks which are dangerous or simply not cost-effective for human workers, Dora brings human beings into the work situation when it’s too dangerous or costly to have them show up in person. With machines like Dora, remote workers can talk to other workers, stroll down the hall, watch work being done… and that’s about it.
This is why this type of robot is often described as a “telepresence” rather than a telerobot. A telepresence can save time and money by reducing transportation needs, and it can enter a toxic environment as an observer. Beam is an example currently in production.
On the other hand, Sheldon from Big Bang Theory is probably the most famous example.
A telepresence is a robot, but it’s a robot designed to mimic the presence of human beings, not to work for them. Where most industrial robots replace hands and arms, a telepresence replaces only the face — complete with eyes and ears. Is this a sufficient stand-in for human interaction?
It’ll be interesting to see how telepresence devices change the workplace. In the meantime, Rexroth continues to product the best motion control on the planet, and we have the largest stock of factory refurbished exchange units in the U.S. Call us at 479-422-0290 and let us help you now.