New videoconferencing robot for remote workers and distance learners

On Tuesday, a San Francisco-based Double Robotics has unveiled all-new Double 3, a self-driving, two-wheeled videoconferencing robot that revolutionizes the way you work or learn remotely. The robot – with a new mixed-reality driver’s interface – is intended to increase the productivity of remote workers and distance learners.

Unlike its previous versions, the Double 3 does not use an Apple iPad. It has been replaced by a fully-integrated solution – a dedicated 9.7-inch touchscreen – powered by the Nvidia Jetson TX2 platform, two Intel RealSense D430 depth sensors, a beamforming six-microphone array, an 8-watt speaker, a pair of 13-megapixel cameras (wide-angle and zoom) on a tilting mount.

t comes with a dedicated 9.7-inch touchscreen.
t comes with a dedicated 9.7-inch touchscreen.

The built-in screen eliminates the need for a separate tablet and fickle Bluetooth connections like the Double 2 model where you literally had to stick an iPad on top of the robot to make it work.

Each D430 module uses a pair of stereo cameras with a pattern projector to generate 1280 x 720 depth data with a range of between 0.2 and 10 meters away. All this high-quality data is then used by the Double 3 robot to locate obstacles; however, the robot is still not fully autonomous.

Instead, the updated hardware works with the new click-to-drive interface, which shows a grid of dots on the floor for areas where the robot is able to move safely. The remote operator can then click anywhere on the floor, and the robot will go there, avoiding obstacles along the way. The whole interface can be controlled from a web browser or mobile app.

Double 3: Features and specs
Double 3: Features and specs

The cameras provide an ultra-wide field of view and multiple levels of zoom, plus it can physically tilt up and down, which comes in handy for zooming in to read papers on a desk, for example.

The telepresence robot can work for around four hours before the battery in its base runs out. An always-on charging dock offers a full charge in around two hours. A physical design with sturdier and more professional looks makes Double three a more comfortable fit in a modern workplace.

The Double 3 telepresence robot is available for pre-order worldwide and will begin shipping late September. It will cost around $3,999, including Charging Dock.

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