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Employee monitoring: robots

27 May 2011

Business owners and managers across the world are steadily growing aware of the necessity of high-quality monitoring of their employees, both for reasons of information security and employee performance. And as the saying goes, demand creates offer.

Engineers from Sony (Japan) и Anybots (USA) found their own solutions for this problem. They suggested using remotely controlled robots for simulating the presence of a manager in an office.

Sony developed a device called Telepresence Balloon — a relatively small airship type device around 3 feet wide that floats through open office spaces using small propellers. The user can control it remotely by watching live webcam streams, while the user’s face is projected onto the surface of the balloon. It probably look somewhat creepy, but it should also produce the desired effect (at least to a certain extent).

Anybots presented a less conceptual and a less frightening product — their robot uses wheels to move around the office and resembles WALL-E, a popular cartoon character, yet with a longer neck. Due to its design, it has one serious weakness — stairs.