Doing a demo drive of Classic was a pleasure – it’s always nice when the team is outgoing and friendly. However, I have to mention that communication, although pleasant, was slow and setting up the demo took a while. That’s why I’ve given the customer service 4 stars. Another important detail is that they didn’t have a Classic 2 at the moment, but assured me that virtually the only difference I’d notice is that the original Classic was noisier. As I drove the robot around, I couldn’t help but notice, that making it quieter was a much needed change - I’m glad they sorted that out. Another difference between the two versions was that while Classic was able to work only with a Notebook, Classic 2’s head was replaced with a tablet. This change also meant that there was a cavity left under the head that proved very useful to store various small objects.
Controlling the movement of the robot proved to be easy and intuitive. There was no lag or delay and the speed of Classic was great – the perfect balance between moving fast, but without the fear you’ll lose control. The quality of the video and sound obviously depends on the tablet used as a head. I connected to Classic via Skype, but had to log in a site in my browser as well, so that I could use the robot. However, I didn’t need to install anything and the process was straightforward and intuitive. The user interface was easy to understand as well – there were various settings to make maneuvering as easy as possible. Classic 2 has a motorized mast and a laser pointer to allow better presentations, as well as infrared obstacle detection that guarantees the safety of the robot. Another great feature is that the user can play video and audio remotely.
An interesting function is that any communication software (Skype, Viber and similar) can be used to convey the audio and video, but essentially, Classic 2 is controlled via IP. That’s very important for big companies that often use closed networks. Classic 2 also has a security scanning mode, as well as a security guard application to ensure the safety of the information. The robot has a battery life of about 4 hours, although that time can be extended on request. The docking station is optional, but there’s no auto-docking. A great option is that the Classic 2 can auto-activate and the tablet is auto-charged.
One of the unique qualities of the Classic 2 telepresence robot is that it’s highly customizable. Mantarobot’s core business is engineering and the team is more than open to suggestions that will make your robot perfect for the task at hand. The skilled staff will probably find a way of integrating whatever functions you need. That means that Classic 2 deserves more than 5 stars in the Feature category!
So here’s a summary of Classic 2 in a simple list!
+ Friendly staff
+ Freedom to choose a “head” for the robot
+ No lag or delay
+ Maneuverable and easy to control
+ No need to install specialized software
+ Motorized mast and an optional laser pointer
+ IP controlled
+ Auto-activation and auto-charging
+ Highly customizable
- Slow communication with the team
- You’ll need to buy a tablet
- No auto-docking