At CES in January, Double Robotics announced the Double 2, a major upgrade to their super skinny telepresence platform that features better stability and turbo speed. It looked cool, but we didn’t get super excited about it, because like most telepresence robots, it’s designed to work very well in some very specific, usually business or education-focused environments. We’ve tested these things out before, and once you get past some hiccups and quirks, they generally do what they’re supposed to do, which is provide you with a mobile embodied presence somewhere that you’re not.
When Double Robotics asked us if we wanted to test out a Double 2, we said sure, with two conditions: 1. it had to come with an LTE cellular data connection, allowing us to use the robot free of Wi-Fi; and 2. we could take it anywhere we wanted. To their credit, the company didn’t even hesitate, and they shipped us a brand new Double 2, along with the camera and audio kit accessories and charging dock. Cool, now we can see what this robot can do—and maybe what it can’t.
Where are we taking it? Not some business or education environment. Our Double is going to the zoo.