When My Avatar Went to Work

You, Robot

Telepresence robots for all needs and wallets


ROVIO is a small rover with a webcam and omnidirectional wheels for home use. Created by Hong Kong toy maker WowWee.
Price: US $140


VGO is a sleek, 1.2-meter-high office robot with a tilting camera and small LCD. Sold by Vgo Communications, of Nashua, N.H.
Price: $5000


TiLR is a rugged robot for offices and factories with a powerful mobile base. Created by RoboDynamics, of Santa Monica, Calif.
Price: $10 000



GIRAFFE is a 1.7-meter-high robot with a large display designed for health-care and home use. Sold by HeadThere, of San Francisco.
Price: $3000


RP-7i is a hospital robot used by doctors to check on patients. Created by InTouch Health, of Santa Barbara, Calif.
Price: About $50 000 per year


 sparky jr.

SPARKY JR. is a DIY project that anyone can replicate. Designed by San Francisco–based artist Marque Cornblatt.
Parts cost about $1000


TEXAI is a robot that uses off-the-shelf parts and the Robot Operating System. Created by Willow Garage, of Menlo Park, Calif.
Price not available

Photos: Col. 1: WowWee; Vgo Communications; RoboDynamics; Col. 2: HeadThere; InTouch Health; Col. 3; Marque Cornblatt; Willow Garage