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 Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

Autonomous Concrete Floor Finishing Robot
Keep those construction site robots coming.

 

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

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

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.