August 16, 2015
A Russian banking professional turned entrepreneur has developed what could be considered the creepiest and/or most ingenious smart phone docking station/robot you’ve ever seen.
George Fomitchev is the creator of SelfieBot, a robot with a “follow me” function that is primarily intended to make video calls easier and hands free. He recently launched an Indiegogo for this invention, with a goal of raising $20,000.
After over 10 years of working in commercial banks in Moscow, Fomichev felt that he was wasting his time “doing nothing”. He quit his job at Unicredit Bank and started Endurance, which is still and early stage startup, with offices in Moscow and San Rafael, CA. Endurance is the company behind the SelfieBot. They also make lasers, drones, and other robots.
So here are some of the ways you can use the SelfieBot:
- For more comfortable video calls: no need to carry a phone or tablet in your hand, no need to sit in front of the camera.
- Your mobile device can be used as a WiFi camera.
- Making selfie videos
- To be used as baby monitors, you will see and hear your child and your child will see and hear you.
- To attend classes in school if you cannot be present there in person for medical reasons.
- To arrange more effective meetings at work.
- To make video footage remotely and be able to rotate the camera.
Of course some of these are more useful than others, but I can see it being especially handy for video calls. The most remarkable feature is its “follow me” function. When you turn it on, the robot will rotate on an axis and follow your movements around a room. So if you’re giving a presentation, pitch, or demo over video, there is no need to hold the phone and move it with you.
So far the SelfieBot is only compatible with Android, but Fomitchev says that it is very much a work in progress. Future development plans include user-friendly transparent software interface compatible with iOS and Windows Mobile, improve the design and stability, perform crush tests and test the holder under critical conditions, the addition of infrared diodes to give cameras night vision, and the addition of facial recognition software.
SelfieBot has a long way to go to reach their funding goal, but if it is reached, the funds will be used to produce 100 units to ship to contributors.
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