The ability to talk face-to-face — when you're actually miles apart from one another — is awesome. The ability to do that while also "walking" (or in this case, rolling) alongside that person is mind boggling. And very, very cool.
A few weeks ago, we posted a little teaser on this blog, asking you if you could identify the mystery object in the photo.
Today, we'd like to introduce you to Double, which will be making appearances on each of our campuses this summer.
Engineered by Carnegie Mellon University's Red Team — the same team whose Sandstorm and H1ghlander vehicles came in second and third in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge — Double Robot is "wheels for your iPad." Both agile and mobile, Double allows you to interact and engage with students, faculty, and colleagues down the hall and around the world, without leaving the comfort of home.
To work, all it requires is a couple of iPads, a Bluetooth connection, and a relatively smooth surface to roll on. Our Double came to us thanks to Brian Hughes — Chairman of HBN Shoe, Co-Founder of SegSaddle (the seats on the Segway), Explo's first employee, and its current Board Chair — who "toured" Carnegie Mellon labs with the original Double prototype four years ago.
"What I remember the most about that experience," Hughes says, "is the feeling of walking around inside the space. It wasn't that I remember 'viewing' the labs from a distance, through a screen. I actually remember being there. And that's why I thought it would be a great tool for Explo, because it could give parents, Explo staff, trustees, and others a way to virtually "pop in" and tour campus — without actually having to travel."
What we're enjoying the most so far? Learning how to navigate a space virtually, getting to cruise the halls of Explo HQ, and saying hi to all our friends and colleagues. Oh, and a couple of dogs, too.
This summer, we're incredibly excited to "tour" our campus with Brian Hughes, and thank him for one incredibly amazing gift.