iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT ) launched a new robot-navigated video conferencing project with Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO ) today, called Ava 500, that is designed to allow offsite workers to attend meetings, "walk" the hallways, and participate in facility tours and other mobile experiences without having to be physically present.
"The robot blends together iRobot's autonomous navigation with Cisco's TelePresence to enable people working off-site to participate in meetings and presentations where movement and location spontaneity are important," according to the company.
The mobile unit consists of Cisco's TelePresence EX60's 21.5-inch HD screen mounted onto iRobot's mobile platform and using its autonomous navigation system. Youssef Saleh, vice president and general manager of iRobot's Remote Presence business unit, said in a statement, "iRobot is excited to work with Cisco to bring this next generation of telepresence to businesses worldwide."
Snorre Kjesbu, vice president and general manager of Cisco Collaboration Technology Group, was quoted as saying, "The iRobot Ava 500 is a perfect example of using Cisco's portfolio of high-definition video collaboration solutions to innovate and expand the reach of telepresence."
The companies expect Ava 500 to be available from select Cisco partners in early 2014. iRobot and Cisco will be exhibiting and demonstrating the robot at the InfoComm 2013 Conference and Expo from June 12-14 in Orlando, Fla.