A PUBLICATION OF ACADEMIC COMPUTING ADVISORY COMMITTEE,
BANANA TIME IS PUBLISHED EVERY THURSDAY, FALL & SPRING.
SEND SUBMISSIONS FOR BANANA TIME TO WIGLEY@CANISIUS.EDU.
DESCRIPTION: A robot that allows a person to “exist” in two places
PURPOSE: Work (possibly for play)
BANANA RATING: Four Bananas out of Five Bananas
RATED BY: Hussam AlMukhtar, Canisius Graduate Assistant (Social Media Maven?)
Telepresence is here with Double
Look out, here comes another iPad on wheels!
To feed our evidently voracious need to be in two places at once, robotics company, Double Robotics, has added its contribution to the demand for telepresence. “Telepresence” wasn’t a typo nor was it a twist from StarTrek. Surprisingly, the solution isn’t ugly, or the apparent product of an amateur hour Science Olympiad competition, but it might be a bit awkward for some.
A graduate of the YCombinator project introduced Double, basically a cylinder and a stick robot, in the summer of 2012. Similar to a Segway, Double balances on its wheels but it uses the accelerometer and gyroscope in the iPad as its balancing mechanism. Unlike a Segway, however, an iPad rides Double, while you control it from your own iPad. Wherever you happen to be, you see what it sees, and anyone who sees Double, sees you!
If that sounds surreal, take a closer look here:
The robot weighs only 15 pounds. It adjusts height so that you can communicate naturally at either standing or sitting heights. It moves forward, backward, and turns as you control it from your own iPad or iPhone at a remote location. When not in use, two kickstands ease down from the cylinder between wheels, allowing Double to conserve power and wait for the next rider.
For only $1,999 you can now exist in any two locations at the same time . . . well, as long as one location has WiFi and automatic doors!
BANANA TIME is the namesake of an article by the late Donald F. Roy. Roy said (p. 166) that his “…observations seem to support the generally accepted notion that one key source of job satisfaction lies in the informal interaction shared by members of a work group.” Roy, D. F. (1959). “Banana Time” Job satisfaction and informal interaction, Human Organization, 18, 158-168. A free downloadable pdf of the article appears at