Double Robotics received quite a bit of press coverage in 2012 when it unveiled Double, its iPad driven telepresence robot. They were originally anticipating shipping in February, but due to overwhelming response, they had to rethink and scale up their manufacturing. According to their website, Double started rolling off the production lines in late May, but has all the anticipation been worth it? The Double is an beautifully designed piece of hardware, something that is often missing when several engineers develop a product. I believe that the coverage and write-ups have been worthwhile , as they recently received a “Best of Show” award at Macworld 2013. They also know how to take advantage of an opportunity to showcase their product. During a recent CIO Leadership Forum, NASA official Dr. Sasi Pillay was unable to physically attend due to budget cuts from the federal government sequestration. It just so happened that one of the panelists was Jay Liew of Double Robotics. Recognizing the opportunity, they taught Dr. Pillay how to operate the Double and within minutes he was participating alongside his physical counterparts in the panel discussion. You can read more about this on Double’s blog. The feedback thus far has been very positive on Double. After months of trade shows and over $1.5 Million in pre-sales, they have clearly identified a need for a low cost telepresence solution and their capabilities will only grow. Their clever use of the iPad as the brains, will help enhance and engage technology users already have or a looking to purchase.
UPDATE (March 25th, 2016): Double Robotics has recently released the Double 2 telepresence robot, featuring improvided lateral stability and power-drive.