Telepresence Robots

PadBot X1 Review: Introducing Another Telepresence Robot

(Last Updated On: August 28, 2017)

Telepresence robots make sense in today’s business world. As more and more companies work with telecommuting employees and distributed teams, it is becoming more and more useful to have telepresence robots in the workplace.

Telepresence robots make meetings a whole lot better by ensuring that everyone who is supposed to be there are present, even if they are physically not.

Telepresence robots can help your team members feel like you are part of the meeting by allowing you to easily interact with them. When it comes to presentations, you can see what everyone else can see.

If you have a mentoring relationship with another employee, then a telepresence robot can help you with that as well.

But how about a telepresence robot that goes beyond just helping you have a virtual presence at the office even when you are halfway across the world? A telepresence robot that can actually do your job for you even when you are asleep? Enter PadBot X1.

Features

Independently explores every room. When you place the PadBot X1 in a new room or office, it will explore it by itself, taking note of the layout of the place so that it would know where to go in the future. This feature is available only in the version with navigation capabilities.

This is helpful because it allows the PadBot X1 (Check out the price from China Global Mall) to map out the room for you instead of visually finding its way every time you need it. It gets to where you want it faster and more efficiently.

Facial recognition. The PadBot X1 can identify faces. This is very useful when you are interacting with people. It also allows the robot to instantly find your face and turn towards you. It can even find you when you call it using the PadBot
X1 passphrase.

Say, “come here” and the PadBot X1 will make its way to you, do some real time facial recognition magic, and even follow you around. This works even when there are other people in the room.

Custom content library. The PadBot X1 is ready for you, no matter what work you want to put it on. With its custom content library, each PadBot X1 is different from the others.

It has the ability to know all the professional terminology and jargon that you use in your own industry or department, allowing it to understand you better.

Remote video surveillance. You can use your smartphone to remotely control the PadBot X1. This means that you can be halfway across the world and still keep an eye out for things at home, even talk to a family member or play with your kids.

Remote video surveillance. You can use your smartphone to remotely control the PadBot X1. This means that you can be halfway across the world and still keep an eye out for things at home, even talk to a family member or play with your kids.

Smart home control. The PadBot X1 can help you control your smart home. It could turn off the lights and turn on the air conditioning, among other things.

Design. The PadBot X1 is made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic, a very strong and rigid plastic that is also highly insulated and glossy. In short, the material used is not only built to last but also contributes to the beautiful design.

One look at the PadBot X1 and you would know that this is true. It looks sturdy and expensive, not some oversized cheap toy robot, especially with the use of metallic paint and finish. The PadBot X1 stands around 3.44 feet or 105 cm and has a width of a little less than a foot or 30 cm. wide. It also weighs 15 kilograms.

Voice control. With the PadBot X1, you do not have to always tinker with your smartphone or some sort of physical control. You can just issue voice commands and it will pick up on what you said even when you are across
the room.

Far field speech recognition. The PadBot X1 can identify your voice even when you are at the opposite end of the room. That means you can issue commands even if you do not go near the robot.

This is very similar to the far field voice recognition technology used by Amazon’s Alexa devices such as the Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot, and Amazon Echo Show.

It does not matter if the TV is on and the kids are fighting, Amazon Echo can still recognize your voice command if you use the Alexa pass phrase. Long battery life. The PadBot X1 needs only six hours of charging time and this will be enough to have it on standby for 40 hours.

Yes, with only six hours of charging, the telepresence robot will be ready to work for you for two days. Actual running time is pegged at 10 hours, giving it enough power for a typical work day.

What you would like about PadBot X1

With PadBot X1, you can use the telepresence robot to explore unknown environments because of its autonomous indoor navigation.

And because it has custom content at its fingertips, you can “train” the PadBot X1 for just about any situation. For instance, you can use it to guide guests at your bed and breakfast and lead them to their rooms.

Or perhaps use it to tell guests about the exhibits and paintings in a museum. You can also use it to safeguard your kids or your home. You can also use your robot to hold or attend a video conference with your business partners even when you are on a vacation halfway across the world.

And here’s the thing, the PadBot X1 has advanced processing. It can understand the nuances of spoken languages and be able to answer questions on its own. This means that you can put the PadBot X1 at your front desks and welcome people into your business establishment.

Also, a single charge can power the PadBot X1 for 10 hours of continuous operation.

That means that it can keep up with your hectic schedule at the office and attend one business meeting after another and still have enough energy for some after-work monitoring and surveillance before it needs to go back to its charging dock.

What you should know about PadBot X1

The PadBot X1, unfortunately, is not one of the telepresence robots offered by PadBot on its English language Web site. It is still offered only in Chinese online stores such as JD.com and ChinaGlobalMall.com.

This might mean that if you run into problems, support might be a bit difficult and returns might take too long. In fact, for China Global Mall, delivery to the United States can take up to 60 days.

The PadBot X1 may be used for home and family purposes, such as turning off the lights at home when nobody is around and playing with your kids or letting them feel your presence even when you are out of the house.

However, the price is not very friendly: China Global Mall sells it for close to $16,000! But then again, it is still $1,000 cheaper than the Solarin Android phone, which claims to be the world’s most secure Android smartphone.

Other PadBot robots

PadBot is a known telepresence robot brand and has several robot models that are currently available.

PadBot’s range of telepresence robots would give you some options. For instance, the PadBot T1 is very portable and light that you can put it inside
your bag.

It makes use of your smartphone and allows you to go around your house or office when you cannot be there. With regular use, you can be virtually present for 12 hours, but with heavy use, you can get two hours of operation from
the T1.

While the T1 gives you a portable and smaller option, the PadBot P1 is very similar to the PadBot X1, only that it has a different body design. It has a 10-inch high-definition screen and comes with wide-angle cameras that allow you to see more of the room. It is also 4G LTE enabled and the head is adjustable.

It can avoid bumping into things and falling over. Meanwhile, the PadBot U1 can use any tablet that is from 7 inches to 10 inches in size.

You can pop the tablet into the slot and help your family members feel as if you are home even when you are not. The PadBot P1 retails for $1,297.00, while the PadBot U1 sells for $997 and the PadBot T1 sells for only $169.

Obviously, the lower priced robots pale in comparison with the PadBot X1, which can find its way on its own. You must drive the PadBot U1 and P1 using onscreen controls on your smartphone or tablet.

Not so with the PadBot X1. Truly, what makes the PadBot X1 worth its astronomical price tag is its ability to move on its own, making it less stressful for you.

Beam Pro Telepresence Robot

The PadBot X1 can also be compared to another telepresence robot: Beam Pro Telepresence Robot. Like the PadBot X1, theBeam Pro can be used to attend meetings and to make your colleagues feel that you are physically present.

While you can remotely control where it goes, you can opt for auto-activation, in which the Beam Pro would go to the conference or meeting room on its own.

It can recognize faces and even facial expressions, as well as have noise canceling and echo canceling features. It can work for eight hours on a single charge. The Beam Pro has a $14,000 price tag.

Final recommendations on the PadBot X1

The PadBot X1 is being marketed more as a butler rather than just a mere telepresence robot. It does more than just attend meetings for you, but it can do other things just as well, even when you are not there to supervise it.

The PadBot X1 takes time to familiarize itself with the room or rooms that you put it in. It familiarizes itself with the words that you use in business, and it can even recognize your face.

It moves with some degree of autonomy and a lot of intelligence behind it, making it easier for you to control it with your voice when you are at home and to control it remotely when you are away.

If you are a fan of Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons animated series, PadBot X1 is probably the closest you could get to that. But without mechanical hands, do not expect it to clean your desk, do the cooking, and serve you breakfast. It can, however, turn off your lights.

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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