Test driving this robot was an absolute pleasure – the responsive, kind team, as well as Double's great features, made my experience amazing! Controlling this robot was very easy and intuitive; there was no lag or noticeable delay in the signal. Double is reasonably fast with a speed of 1.6 mph (2.6 km/h) and very maneuverable. One drawback I could point out is that this robot doesn’t have an option to tilt the camera. However, you are able to easily raise and lower the head, allowing you to better communicate with both sitting and standing people. Double doesn’t come with a build in screen - you need to attach an iPad (2, Air or Air 2). Since a lot of people already own iPads, buying Double saves them money and using one device for multiple purposes is even eco-friendly. Also, your tablet couldn’t run out of battery while driving Double, as it’s automatically charged from the power source of the robot.
I was a bit nervous about doing a demo drive, as I knew that Double doesn’t have any sensors that stop it from bumping into walls or people and falling down stairs. This could definitely be a problem for some people, however, this robot compensates with a very effective system of overcoming obstacles. At any time, you’re able to access a camera, placed on the bottom of the head, looking down. This allows you to see what’s in your way and easily go around it. The other feature that helps you out is the lateral stability control that allows the Double to go over obstacles, often found in buildings (for example, electrical cords and dividers). When I went over a cord, I hardly even felt it, as this was no challenge for the robot.
I really liked the fact that you don’t need to install any software, in order to control Double. A feature that I found useful was the ability to screen share, as it’s a much easier to get your point across. There’s also a multi-viewer mode that allows up to 5 people to use Double, while one person’s driving it around. If you plan to stay in one place for a while, you could even park the robot, making it more stable. One disadvantage is that Double doesn’t have an auto-dock option, as it’s certainly easier to just go in the vicinity of the charger and press a button. Although, it’s more of a fun fact and not connected to the technical side of Double, this robot was featured in some popular shows like “Bones” and “Modern Family”.
So, to sum up my experience, here are the pros and cons of Double:
+ Cheap if you already own an iPad
+ Easy obstacle avoidance
+ Great features (screen share, park, multi-viewer)
+ No software installation required
+ Tablet auto-charge
+ Lateral stability control
+ Great customer service
- Works only with computers and iOS devices
- Can’t tilt head
- No auto-dock