Company develops telepresence robots for the home

Global Business

Telepresence robots – which allow users to communicate through them remotely – have started to show up at conferences and exhibitions.

But they’ve yet to find a real presence in the home.

One Silicon Valley company is now on a mission to change that.

GGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

Company developing telepresence robots to transform elder care

Telepresence robots – which allow users to communicate through them remotely – have started to show up at conferences and exhibitions. But they’ve yet to find a real presence in the home. One Silicon Valley company is now on a mission to change that. GGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

With 20 3D printers, including bigger ones they’re building on their own, Ohmni Labs is continually refining their robot, which is currently being sold on crowdfunding site Indiegogo for $1400.

“Our goal is to really continue to push the envelope on a robot this size, human scale — how much that would cost…and really bring these into people’s homes,” Jared Go, Co-founder & CTO, Ohmni Labs said.

More than 50 Ohmni robots are already being tested in the field.

The technology allows the startup’s co-founder Tingxi Tan to call in from his home in Canada, and almost feel like he’s in the office.

“So there’s many telepresence robots already out there, but I think most of them, actually all of them is targeting the corporate institutional use. For Ohmni, we are different. We are designed for the homes from the get go,” Tan said.

It’s lightweight with colors that blend in with the home or even add personality. The founders said the real key is ease of use.

Ohmni said in its pilot program test, 80 percent of users switched to using the robot as their primary form of mobile communication because they found it more convenient.