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iRobot and Cisco Unveil AVA 500, The White Collar Telepresence Robot

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In 2011, iRobot, best known for its vacuum cleaners and war machines, introduced its AVA platform. Now, in 2013, iRobot is ready to make good on AVA's promise — almost. Today it's announcing the AVA 500, a semi-autonomous telepresence robot for businesses, packed with Cisco's TelePresence videoconferencing software, and bearing a too-high-to-publish pricetag. Unlike the original AVA, which carried an iPad on top of its skinny neck, the AVA 500 carries a hefty Cisco EX60 21.5-inch LCD "video endpoint," and is proportioned and styled like an electronic car charging station. The display, which has an HD webcam atop it, can slide between "sitting" and "standing" heights. Primary navigation data is gathered by a Kinect-style sensor.

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