Surrogate “Telepresence” robots help hospitals and businesses

31 Michigan hospitals are already treating stroke patients using real “robot surrogates” – the InTouch Health RP-7i, controlled remotely by a doctor using a joystick. The “telepresence” robot helps them administer a crucial treatment protocol 20 times more often than the national average, and it’s part of a growing trend.  NextGen research predicts the number of robots will triple to 25 million units within the next six years, with a larger share being these “telepresence” bots.

But the examples are fascinating. One motion-detection robot even emails photographs of intruders, and a robotics CEO is already using a surrogate to eliminate his need to commute. Instead, “his robot sits next to his desk at the office, available for anyone to approach and ask him a question.”