Hospitalized kid's telepresence bot roams at home

When eight-year-old Grady Hoffman went into the hospital for a bone-marrow transplant and a two month recovery, he stayed in touch with his family by means of a telepresence robot that rolled around the house, feeding him video and audio from home and his siblings, and letting him talk to them. READ THE REST

It does seem like a useful device for a kid stuck in a hospital or at home, but some of the other uses suggested just made me think someone involved is high. Like the museum tour thing. So you’re going to have a bunch of webcams on wheels driving around streaming shitty webcam video to one person each. Wouldn’t it be better to have the museum take high-quality pictures of each piece and let people look at those?


I would be more impressed if he could control it from beyond the grave.

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So, the BBC makes the entire anglosphere conform to Briticisms? The American correspondent reporting on the American family distinctly said “mum,” and also “mucking about.” Rubbish, I say.

also, this:[quote=“Jardine, post:2, topic:2824”]
Wouldn’t it be better to have the museum take high-quality pictures of each piece and let people look at those?

It may be vulnerable too hacking. Such as the laptop hackers who watch users via their webcam. If hackers could move about some ones residence undetected, that would be most unsettling.

Nice idea too comfort kids though.

The BBC invents quotes in British English, as well. They’ll quote some local in Trailer Bend, Arkansas saying, “Mum and I were feeling a bit peckish, so we were chuffed to bits to be able to go out for a fry-up that wasn’t too dear.”

Hey, nice one. I’ve seen telepresence touted as a boon for doctors for years, but this is the first time I’ve seen it used for patients… it makes just as much sense too - if not more.

When you consider how important the patient’s mood often is to the outcome, this could make even more difference a lot of the time…

I think the point is being able to look where you want; to do that in high-def I guess you’d digitise the whole joint as photorealistic VR; that way you only have a camera going through the place any time something’s changed, and you can digitally remove all the IRL patrons.

They wouldn’t really be undetected, it’s a bit difficult to miss a robot strolling around the house. If anything, it might be less of a risk than hacking a normal webcam, as there’s more of a definite presence that is more difficult to ignore than a computer in the corner of the room would be. Also, you know who should be controlling it anyway, so if your child’s robot starts watching you get undressed it might raise some questions as to who is actually controlling it. You could also just check the screen and ask the person to fairly quickly establish whether the person is actually controlling it. There’s still a risk depending on what other activities you use the robot for, but I doubt it would be as risky as a pc in a bedroom or within sight of something fairly private.

I remember seeing something like this on the much-missed Tomorrow’s World several years ago. In that case, they were using the robot to allow the kid to attend school with his usual classmates. I remember that the robot had a hand it could raise if the kid wanted to say something during a lesson.

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