iChatBot

Here is an interesting hardware project I don't have time to do: iChatBot.

The idea is to take one of several vacuum robots in the market and strap on top of it a Mac Mini, a LCD monitor, a camera, and a microphone. Reprogram the vacuum to take command from the Mac Mini. Likewise, Mac Mini is configured to run iChat exclusively. Once built, let it loose in an office. An office can dedicate an iChatBot to each remote worker (remote senior staff) or maintain a pool for a group.

When a remote worker launches a special version of iChat, he will see what the iChatBot's camera sees. Likewise, his face is displayed on the LCD. With mouse and keyboard, iChatBot can roam around the office and participate in meetings or converse with anyone that happens to cross the bot's path. iChatBots equiped with Nurf ball launcher can, of course, do far more…

Hmm. The idea needs a catchy name. Tele-presence? Where have I heard that before? iRisma? iThere?

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