New iRobot AVA 500, planned for 2014 delivery, navigates autonomously and can be sent from point A to B using an iPad.
Base of AVA same as that used by InTouch Health and their successful RP-VITA remote presence robot.
AVA 500 carriers a Cisco 21.5-inch LCD and has a HD webcam atop it packed with Cisco’s TelePresence videoconferencing software.
Available for lease and purchase but purchase price not announced. Lease prices start at $2,000.
The Ava 500 can move in any direction and safely self-navigate real-world environments. It can adjust its height to accomodate who it sees (seated or standing). It thinks on the spot and can moderate speed and alter it’s path if it senses humans nearby and return to it’s charging station after the meeting is over. It requires very little training to operate because the primary focus is the communications; not the technology.
More details in Boston Globe article by Michael Farrell.