The age of the robots is here – and we mean for the better. A wide range of companies have started investing in robotics and telepresence, and one of the companies to commercially launch such robots onto the market is Double Robotics. The company sent us the Double 3 for a test drive a week ago and boy, did we have fun!
The Double 3 is, as the company describes, a self-driving, two-wheeled videoconferencing robot that has been designed to make remote work effortless. The robot is aimed at telecommuters, doctors, remote workers, and students to give them a feeling of “physical presence” where they can’t be in person.
The Double 3 has been upgraded with the latest tech that’s available on the market today. Unlike its predecessors, the Double 3 does not use just an iPad for an interface. Instead, it uses a fully-integrated solution that packs in the latest Nvidia Jetson TX2 GPU tech, two Intel RealSense depth sensors, two high-resolution cameras rated at 13MP, and a beam-forming microphone array that consists of 6 microphones.
Since the Double 3 flaunts new hardware, you now get a new click-to-drive interface, obstacle avoidance, and pan/tilt/zoom video functions, to provide a fully-immersive remote experience to seasoned users as well as complete beginners. Starting off with the Double 3 is a walk in the park.
Once out of the box, connect the head to the body that consists of a rod attached to a pair of wheels. The head runs Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS as the operating system of choice. Switch the Double 3 on, and it will walk you through the setup procedure, which hardly takes minutes to complete.
Once completed, you get a digital pair of eyes on the screen, indicating the Double 3 is ready to use. The Double 3 comes with an array of 3D sensors, which lets it map the floor and its surroundings, thus allowing it to divert around obstacles to reach its destination.
This means you can drive the telepresence robot without the fear of bumping into walls or people. In order to drive the Double 3, all you need to do is log on to drive.doublerobotics.com, log in with your username and password. Once you do that, the interface will show you all the Double 3 robots that are connected to your login ID.
Select the robot you would like to drive or use and you will see it log into the robot. From there on you can use the onscreen controls to drive the robot around your house or office, log into a video conference, and more. You can drive your Double 3 from anywhere in the world via Mac, PC/Windows, iPad, Android, or iPhone.
In order to test the Double 3 out, we installed and set it up, which hardly took minutes. Once done, we were able to drive it around, even over difficult terrain such as doorways. The robot was even able to balance itself over tough terrain inside our office such as a door threshold and cross it with ease.
We also tried logging into a video call through an Android smartphone. The call quality and the video quality were very good, considering the Double 3 has two 13MP cameras and 6 microphones. On a single charge, the Double 3 worked non-stop for about 4 hours, before it needed to recharge from its charging dock.
The Double 3 can move autonomously and offer a new mixed-reality driver’s interface. By doing this, Double Robotics enables users to drive their own Double 3 to roam around the office, visit patients, attend meetings, monitor work sites, or go to class from anywhere in the world.
The Double 3 with a charging dock is priced at AED 19,290 which includes the VAT. Installation and setup are free in the UAE. It is worth noting that if you invested in a Double 2 robot, you can just stick a Double 3 head on a Double 2 body and it instantly becomes a Double 3.
However, if you are on the market for a telepresence robot that is easy to install, setup, and use, offers a good set of features, you can’t go wrong with the Double Robotics Double 3.
Price: AED 19,290