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Anybot

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Every now and then, a piece of world-changing technology hits the market: think cell phones, Internet and the iPad. In that same ilk is Anybots’ QB, a personal avatar robot that can be operated remotely from the web. For $15,000, an Anybot will stand in the workplace, allowing users to join real-time conversations, meetings or impromptu gatherings near the elevator. A camera affixed to the futuristic-looking robot head allows users to see what’s going on in the office. The video is not quite HDTV quality, but it’s as good as any Internet streaming feed. The 3- to 5-ft.-tall robot can be maneuvered using the directional keys on a computer; a visual of the wheel area allows users to look down and straight ahead, just as while walking. Anybot is ideal for workers who live far from the Mother Ship. Remote meeting websites limit users to conference rooms and phone calls: This gets users out of the boardroom and into the work action, and it’s purported to be as easy to operate as a video game.

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