A new technology enables both interactive communication and observation capabilities with a telepresence robot platform.

Educators and students are exploring a new way to remotely observe and interact with colleagues and peers with a telepresence robot that enables face-to-face communication.

Using Kubi, from Revolve Robotics, users download an app onto a tablet and connect the tablet to Kubi using Bluetooth. The tablet sits on a robotic platform. Other users can then “navigate” to Kubi with a browser. This lets them control the robot remotely over the web, including moving it for face-to-face communication.

The technology has opened up numerous possibilities at both the K-12 and higher-ed levels, where remote observation and communication can come in handy.

In colleges and universities, Kubi is enabling communication between faculty and students who are not in the same geographical place for presentations, classes, or other important events.

“It allows this ‘wow’ interaction because you can look all around,” said Jeff Goldsmith, VP of marketing for Revolve Robotics.

Goldsmith said the uses extend well beyond classroom observation and teacher coaching–Kubi can help when students who are sick or otherwise home-bound, can be a resource for class guest lectures or school board meetings when members are spread across large geographical distances, and can be used in universities for hybrid learning environments.

(Next page: Using robots at universities)

Laura Ascione