Seeing Double: Double Robotics unveils second version of its telepresence robot

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The Double 2's Lateral Stability Control uses a shock absorption mechanism in the base of the robot, so that drivers can negotiate objects like trailing cables or uneven flooring with more side-to-side stability(Credit: Double Robotics)

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Some years ago, a new type of attendee began appearing at tech conferences. They were robots with iPads for faces and a disembodied human face on the screen. Those robots were Doubles and the disembodied faces were people who couldn't attend in person. Now, the Double 2 has been unveiled.

Designed by Double Robotics, the first version of the Double was released in 2012 and effectively allowed people to be in two places at once. The robot allowed users to move around a location remotely, with an iPad allowing for two-way communication with whomever was encountered along the way. The new model has three new features and is described by Double Robotics as "the most advanced telepresence robot yet."

"The three new features are a direct result of customer feedback," says co-founder and CEO at Double Robotics David Cann. "Our mission is to enable all types of remote experiences and the introduction of Double 2 will help us work toward that goal."

The new features are aimed at increasing spatial awareness for the driver and enhancing the overall driving experience. To begin, Lateral Stability Control uses a shock absorption mechanism in the base of the robot so that drivers can negotiate objects like trailing cables or uneven flooring with more side-to-side stability.

A new Camera Kit includes a 150-degree wide-angle lens, which Double Robotics says increases the field of view by 70 percent on each side. Its Always-on Floor View provides improved spatial awareness, while Adaptive HD automatically selects a high frame-rate when the robot is in motion and a high resolution when it is stationary. The Camera Kit also allows users to take 5-MP photos, an increase from 1.2 MP in the first model.

Using the last of the new features, Power Drive, the Double 2 can travel 80 percent faster than its normal driving speed a pace of 1.6 mph (2.6 km/h) when traversing long distances. The robot's kickstand deploys more quickly now, too.

The Double 2 stands at a height of 47-59 in (119-150 cm), depending on its remotely-adjustable neck. It covers an area of 10 x 9 in (25.4 x 23 cm) and weighs 14 lb (6.35 kg). The lithium-Ion battery is said to deliver over eight hours of runtime and take around three hours to charge fully. It requires either Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE networks to operate.

The Double 2 is available to order today at a price of US$2,499, with same-day shipping in some locations. The Camera Kit is available at a cost of $249, or it is possible to buy a package containing the robot, a charging dock, the Audio Kit and the Camera Kit for $2,999.

The video below provides an overview of the Double 2.

View gallery - 4 images

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