"The VGo lets you be in two places at once! See, hear, and GO where YOU want!"
The VGo telepresence robot, produced by VGo Communications, is an elegant looking robot with far more than simply the basic features that are common amongst telepresence robots. The VGo features a 6-inch LCD screen which is great for displaying a face. It can easily drive over rugs, thresholds, and other changes in flooring, and even has headlights to help with visibility and attracting attention. In classroom settings students have used this to replicate raising their hand to get the teacher's attention. The VGo includes other unique features such as a high-resolution camera, zoom features, text-to-voice, and a tiltable head. An automatic docking feature is available when the VGo robot is within 10 meters (about 11 yards) and can see the charger, that point a notification appears which you can press to send the VGo to charge. Additionally, if the VGo is bumped from the charger, it will automatically re-connect.
What do you need to drive it? VGo encourages PC use, but the VGo robot can be controlled via tablet, too. The VGo can be driven from a Windows or Mac PC, iPhone or iPad, or Windows tablets. Recommended tablets include the Apple iPad or iPad Mini with a front-facing camera (2nd generation or later), and the iPhone 5 S or better, the Samsung Series 7 and the Microsoft Surface Pro (but the Surface RT will not work) and tablets with Intel i5 or i7 chips. You can download the VGo driving app for both Windows or Mac on VGo's website while you can download the app for iPad and iPhone in the Apple Store. VGo plans to add functionality for Android devices. Broadband internet connection speeds of 1.5MBps upload are recommended while 768KBps is the minimum requirement.
For VGo users in the medical field?
The aforementioned high-resolution camera allows doctors to see such things as a patient's pupil reaction. The VGo can also connect to, and display, results of CT scans and electronic medical records. Hospitals and doctors are using the VGo to visit rural hospitals, senior care facilities, in-home post-operative care patients, and to conduct rounds at rural locations from their own homes and offices. Medical schools and hospitals have been able to involve top surgeons and specialists in medical training thanks to the telepresence capabilities of the VGo.
Hospitals and clinics also use the VGo to provide interpreter services for a fraction of the cost of having a translator in person, for long-stay pediatrics, and for patient visits from friends and family, allowing greater customer satisfaction, which often propogates an improved hospital image. Another benefit provided by the VGo is the abillity to obtain a quick second opinion. For example, if there is an unexpected development with a patient's wound, on-site medical staff can quickly have a second specialist from another location "present" to provide their own advice. Having a specialist on-call and able to log-in to a VGo from his home, rather than commuting to a particular hospital or clinic, could save millions of brain cells that would potentially be lost, as in the case of stroke victims, and could also increase the probability of success in other life or death scenarios. All of these applications help people in the medical industry increase efficiency and quality of care, and help them decrease expenses incurred by travel and time.
For VGo users in Business, Education, or other fields?
The LED lights mounted on the camera help users navigate dark hallways and improves the detail of snap-shot photos. Sick or otherwise disabled students are able to use these lights as a way to signal the attention of their teachers and professors; resemblant of holding up their hands as if they were present in the classroom. The tilt feature allows the user to look up and down as they wish in order to see more than a normal video conference would allow.
At about four feet tall (with an optional one foot extension), the VGo has a height which is comfortable to interact with whether you are sitting down or standing up. Another convenient feature is the ability of the VGo to be auto-activated either immediately or on a delay, where the user is announced at the robot's location and can begin driving the robot after 15 seconds. Their robot can also be set to manual activation, where a button on the screen must be pressed before the user can begin remote operation.
The VGo app allows users to login to an available robot by clicking on the location where they wish to be. Communication is handled through VGoNet, which handles the complexities of real time Audio/Visual communication with the ongoing robotic controls. Additionally, the VGo app allows other VGo users to communicate via Instant Messaging, voice, or video chats on PCs. Currently, the VGo robot can not be controlled using smartphones but VGo Communications is working to make this possible.
The VGo robot is one of the more moderately priced robots on the market, and whether for business, telemedicine, or manufacturing, the VGo allows you to virtually be in two places at once and engage more fully in communication with employees, patients, or coworkers. The ability to control the robot commands more attention and provides you with greater control of what is seen and heard.
Unlike other telepresence robots, the required monthly service fee for the VGo provides unlimited technical support, access to all software updates, and a full hardware warranty if anything breaks. The VGo requires a service plan commitment of one to three years. The VGo has a one-year plan for $1,195 (as listed) but has other options, including a three-year plan for $2,495 (about $70/month). The service plan covers cloud-based features such as administrative tools, where administrators can view all users and control such things as who has access to which telepresence robot. The service plan also includes helpdesk support, performance tools, and the aforementioned extended warranty contract.
- Unique Features
- Camera Zoom, Snapshots, Tiltable Head, Headlights
- Crash Avoidance
- Docking Station
- Bandwidth Required
- 1 MB (up/down), but can work with less.
- Run Time
- 6 hours (Or optional 12 hour battery)
- 4' (121.92 cm) Optional Extension to 5'
- Charge Time
- 8 hours
- Full hardware warranty. Automatic software updates.
- Video Resolution
- 320 x 240
- Top Speed
- 3 feet per second
- Network Connectivity
- WiFi and Optional 4G LTE
- VGo Communications
- Tablet Auto-Charged
Included in each VGo Order:
- The VGo
- 6 hour battery
- Charging Dock
- Handheld Remote Control
- VGo App: Up to 20 PC/Mac Users
- Full hardware warranty
- Software warranty and updates
- VGoNet Connectivity
- VGoNet Manager (Administrative tool)
- Unlimited Help Desk Support:
- (M-F, 9-5 EST)
- Height Extension
- Extended Life Battery (12+ hrs)
- Additional Charging Docks
- Padded Carry Bag
VGo Weight: Approximately 19 lbs. (About 23 lbs. with the extended battery, and 26 lbs. with the height extension and extended battery are used).
VGo Footprint: 13" wide x 15" deep.
The VGo robot can be operated by a remote user by using the VGo Communications robot application via an iPad or Windows or Mac PC.
While the VGo has a basic height of 4 feet, an extension which increases the height to 5 feet may be purchased.
The VGo robot allows users to enter text which will be spoken by the robot.
Zoom feature: The video feed from the VGo robot can be magnified up to 5x.
VGo Communications offers a live help desk weekdays from 9-5pm Eastern Standard Time.
Shipping box dimensions: 42 x 16 x 16" with a weight of 35 lbs.
Multi-person View: No. Only one person may see the view from the VGo robot.
The VGo telepresence robot draws about 1.2 amps when connected to 100-240 Volt AC power.
Up to 20 people may download the VGo app and drive it (one person at a time).
Recommended tablets include the Samsung Series 7 and Microsoft Surface Pro (the Surface RT will not run the VGo App).
You can download the VGo App for iPad from the Apple App Store.