Anybots allow remote presence today. They can be rented for just $600 a month. You can purchase your own for just $15,000.
The newest version, just unveiled at a CES has a much bigger screen (which seems very wise to me).
This is another example of robots making it into real use. While I am sure few workplaces are ready for this jump today, 10 or 20 years from now a telepresence robot (that can do much more) is likely I think to be significantly used. Not only will functionality increase, prices will drop dramatically: as the wonderful combination so often happens with technology. There is a great deal of effort going into making commercial viable “personal” robots. I think these efforts will make significant inroads in the next 10-20 years.
My old office wouldn’t have been willing to pay $15,000 but one of our developers looked into creating his own (after he moved and was working remotely). He hasn’t quite gotten it done yet, but may at some point.
Related: Managing By Rolling Around (I like how the robot owner used the robot to have his mother attend his wedding (and dressed up the robot) – Robot Finds Lost Shoppers and Provides Directions – New Yorkers Help Robot Find Its Way in the Big City – Toyota Partner Robots