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 ")

Robot Tuna Swims As Fast As Nature's Tuna
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.' - Michael Swanwick, 2002.

Shapeshifter Robot Is Comprised Of Cobots
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed. For an interval, the device struggled with itself...' - Philip K. Dick, 1957.

Maintain Your Megastructure
Megastructures have repair robots, which have repair robots, ad infinitum.

Humanoid Robot's Muscles Biomimic Ours
'It is remarkable that the long leverages of their machines are in most cases actuated by a sort of sham musculature...' HG Wells, 1898.

 

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

Entire Planet Modeled In New MS Flight Sim
'CIC uses [it] to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns...'

FlyZoo Robot Hotel By Alibaba
'... hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Implanted Memories Provide Songs To Birds
Finches can't tell the difference.

Robot Tuna Swims As Fast As Nature's Tuna
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Shapeshifter Robot Is Comprised Of Cobots
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed. For an interval, the device struggled with itself...'

Google Commits To Fighting Deepfakes
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

China Accused Of Harvesting Organs From Unwanted Groups
'The death penalty was his immortality, and he would vote the death penalty for any crime at all.'

Osmiridium Sounds Like Science Fiction (But It's Not!)
I can't resist science-fictional elements. Especially when they're real.

When Will We See The First Space Hotel?
'The heart of it was a vast hexagonal structure of welded metal, ten miles across...'

SpaceX Starhopper Has Flash Gordon Style
SpaceX makes retro cool spacecraft.

Mindar The Robot Buddhist Priest Offers A Blessing
'Not working is the hardest work of all.'

Does Your Company Need A 'Chief Dreamer'?
As far as the future is concerned 'they're the only experts we have'.

Helios Modular Touch Screen Wall Lights
'The walls and ceiling bore an irregular spacing of illuminum tiles...'

Zephyr Solar-Electric Stratospheric Drone
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...'

Robot Hummingbird Hovers Biomimetically
'With a buzz... it started out on its journey.'

Harvest Water From Air With Sunlight
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

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.