Although we have made some critical comments about remote telepresence robots in the past, we are big fans of the technology and the application. The potential is huge and the needs, both of business and society in general are real.
Our past comments about some of the early entries in the field have primarily been focused on the lack of creativity (mobile platforms with a webcam stuck on a stick) and the noticeable absence of any industrial or artistic styling.
Now we're starting to see 2nd (or at least 1.5th) generation designs appear. Remote telepresence products like the GOSTAI JAZZ are starting to look more and more like something people, especially non-techies, would want to have grace their offices and homes.
The JAZZ robot is particularly interesting since we're assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that GOSTAI has plans somewhere down the road to leverage the know-how and learning they have accumulated by developing and supplying their URBI software to advanced robotics organizations and research labs all over the world.
Although it's not that well known, URBI has been used with major robot projects like HRP-4, AIBO, and is integrated into the Aldebaran NAO humanoid robot.
In the long run, what they have learned from URBI, especially what their large established customer base of URBI users has told them, is likely to give them a strong competitive advantage as they roll out new products like JAZZ.