PEBBLES Robot - Teleconferencing For Kids At NextFest 2006

The PEBBLES teleconferencing robot from Telbotics is designed to help kids faced with long hospital stays, or who must attend distant schools. PEBBLES, which stands for Providing Education by Bringing Learning Environments to Students, is described by Telbotics as the world's first fully functioning telepresence application. PEBBLES is being shown off at Wired's NextFest 2006 exhibition at the Javits Center in NYC this weekend.


(PEBBLES teleconferencing robot from Telbotics at NextFest)

PEBBLES consists of two units. The first sits in the child's hospital room (or home bedroom); it's camera takes video of the child. It also has a video game controller. This unit is connected to the teleconferencing robot pictured above.

The child's picture appears on the screen; the camera in the 'head' of the robot sends back a video stream of the classroom or hallway. Between classes, the child uses the video game controller to maneuver the robot to its next destination.

The creators of PEBBLES received a da Vinci award at the Ritz Carlton in Dearborn, Michigan yesterday. The da Vinci Awards recognize the most innovative developments and research in adaptive and assistive technology.

I'm sure there were earlier examples of telepresence robots in science fiction, but the one that strikes me is the robot that chief engineer Tony Rand uses in Oath of Fealty, a 1981 Pournelle and Niven novel. He uses it to get around in the vast arcology that forms the central stage for the novel. The story also features a telepresence bulldozer - the driver works on Earth and the 'dozer performs useful work on the Moon.

(Update 19-Nov-2006: See also the Robot Probes (Arr-twos), also from Niven and Pournelle's Oath of Fealty.)

Look at more NextFest 2006 Devices, Stories and Pictures.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/30/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...' - Harry Harrison, 1958.

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...' - Manly Wade Wellman, 1938.

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'- Michael Swanwick, 2002.

Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1936.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.'

Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?'

Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
'...a towering eighty-story structure like the office In-and Out baskets stacked up to the sky.'

Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead
'Machines that seemingly with full consciousness walked out into the fields to do their daily work.'

Jet-Powered Hoverboard Works!
L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.