|The ConnectR is iRobot's attempt at robotic telepresence.
It is what the company terms a virtual presence network or VPN device. This
means it allows users to access iRobot´s secure comms network, which allows
video and audio calls between ConnectR robots.
This does of course mean they are not compatible with other systems, having
to use iRobot's proprietary standards to communicate.
The ConnectR works by virtue of a built-in microphone and speaker for two way
communication. The robot has two built- in cameras which create a single video
source with full stereoscopy. The two cameras sync perfectly, to allow zoom,
wide angle and provide close up viewing.
The zoom level is nearly 17x and the camera has 220 degrees of tilt and can
be panned 360 degrees using the wheels of the device.
Interestingly, it refuses to work at all without access to a wireless network
and an Internet connection of over 700kb/sec. It is also only compatible with
Windows XP or Vista.
It has a rechargeable battery, self charging base, joystick, headset microphone,
remote control and software that is downloaded from the Internet. The robot
can run at night and comes equipped with a small headlight.