BAMF2010: QB goes to meetings, shoots lasers from eyes

No, it’s not an extra from Wall-E. “QB” is the latest telepresence robot from Silicon Valley firm Anybots. QB combines two-way videoconferencing with a Segway-style self-balancing platform. The idea is to provide mobility and more natural interaction than desktop-tethered conferencing can provide.

The 35 pound robot’s battery runs for six to eight hours, and the telescoping head allows the eye level to be adjusted to match the user’s natural viewpoint. What looks like stereo vision is actually a single camera on the left eye and a steerable laser pointer on the right.

Shipping this October for $15,000, QB will appeal mostly to businesses with specific telepresence needs. This is half the price of their prior QA model — and in time the technology may reach the mass-market level. Until then, we’ll just have to amuse ourselves by remotely attending meetings with our ankle-nipping Rovio robots.


  1. yay says:


  2. osgeld says:

    1) wall-e is a short circuit wannabe ripoff

    2) lasers are cool, this is cool, but they seriously intend to sell it?

    yea there will be a buyer I know that, but how much “telepresence” (and I hate that word, its not 1950 anymore and television is not a new miracle) does one expect out of a wheeled broomstick and a tiny lcd?

  3. ChalkBored says:

    I think this robot needs a tophat and a beak. Then it will gain some respect.
    That or I think it looks like one of those water drinking birds.

    For $15k, it needs a monocle, as well.

  4. Merried Seinor Comic says:

    It looks like a douchebag. Wouldn’t buy.

  5. Mel says:

    I wish I could get my hands on the innards of the telescopic head. Does anyone know what drives the telescopic motion and what range it can move height-wise from the ground level ?

  6. Phil Burgess says:

    @Mel: sorry, in the interest of brevity I omitted the word ‘manually’ from the article. It works pretty much like the telescoping legs on a tripod or a pool skimmer pole: twist, set length, twist back. The idea being that it would only be used occasionally to match the user’s height, or for shipping or storage. The height range looked to be from about three feet to just slightly over six.

  7. pookey says:

    The first time that thing zapped me in the eyes with its “laser pointer” that robot vertical robot would become horizontal.

  8. pookey says:

    Minus points for aesthetic design.

    This thing looks like something that you’d find in the corner of the janitor’s closet… an inverted toilet plunger and roll-around dustpan thingy.

  9. osgeld says:

    I love that for 15 grand you get a chunk of pipe insulation cut in half for a bumper

  10. Amstrad says:

    I would have preferred a full cylinder body, like an extra tall R2D2.

  11. Dropped by their booth; aesthetics aside, it was a pretty impressive bot — very stable balancing control system (the head, when pushed, would quickly come to a stable and complete halt, with little to no sway which is good when you’ve got a camera and laser on board that wouldn’t work very well with too much motion), and a nice small footprint, taking up less space than most standing adults would.

    It may not be the prettiest thing, and it certainly ain’t cheap, but it’s a well-built bot.

  12. Malikaii says:

    I second the monocle statement.

  13. JB says:

    Mmm… for $15000 I rather send a limo to pickup the bum who says he is “working at home” and bring him to the office for the presentation :P

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