January 12, 2016      

In an increasingly crowded telepresence market, Double Robotics Inc.’s Double 2 robot stood out at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.

The Double 2 can travel 1.6 MPH, compared to the 0.9 MPH of the original model. Another upgrade of the Double 2 includes a wide angle lens that increases the field of view to 150 degrees, which is a 70 percent increase from the first model.

As demonstrated (watch video below) in Robotics Trends’ Robotics Marketplace at CES 2016, Double 2 had no problem rolling over a cord or threshold strips thanks to its increased lateral stability. The robot is light at only 15 lb., and it uses an iPad for a screen that can be lowered or raised for eye-level interactions.

Double Robotics has been gathering feedback from users of its first-generation robot for the past three years, and it has sold 5,000 units so far, said Tingting Wang, staffer in charge of Asia-Pacific distribution and sales at the Burlingame, Calif.-based company.

About 80 percent of Double’s customers are business users, including Fortune 100 companies, said Sara Broyles, Double Robotics’ communications lead. She told Robotics Trends that they include General Electric, which uses it in factories, and Cisco Systems Inc., which makes its own teleconferencing products.

Other existing customers include Amazon, Target, IBM, Procter & Gamble, and McDonald’s.

Twenty percent of Double Robotics’ users are educational institutions, said Broyles. Homebound students can still participate in classes thanks to Double.

Schools or offices could have banks of Double 2s for telecommuters.