The Vgo device is a robot with a difference. It is 4 feet 6 inches tall, communicates over 4G and can conduct 2 way audio and video conversations through a 5 inch screen on its head.
5 of these robots are being used in a pilot program at the Childrens hospital in Boston. The intention is to reduce the frequent trips back to hospital for check ups after an operation. It replaces hospital monitoring with home based monitoring. The robot goes home with the patient.
When at the patients home, the robot is controlled by staff at the hospital who remotely drive the robot around in the house.
Vgo was designed by a team that specialises in video communication and robotics. They allow remote telepresence wherever you are. You don’t need to be in front of your computer to interact with a remote user. As long as you can be seen by the robot, the other party can interact with you.
If this pilot scheme works, the hospital plans to expand to a 40 patient home trial to see how effective this type of care can be.
It already works well with remote teaching methods for children who are unable to attend school and it brings interaction through technology innovation. Telepresence robots are evolving and bringing other senses such as long distance touch to the 2 way interaction.
Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.