Robots for Hire and Wormholes in the Office

“We are studying the social, technical — the weirdness factor — of me becoming a robot,” said Lisa Mead, a service delivery leader at Steelcase. “How do we apply our 100 years’ worth of knowing how people work effectively and expand it to now include what a person needs to operate a robot, what makes a space friendly for a robot?”

It’s all part of an investment by the world’s largest office furniture manufacturer to anticipate the future of telepresence — the technology and practice of transporting your image and voice across distances — to save companies time and money.

Friend of Make and Grand Rapids resident, Matthew Gryczan writes about Steelcase’s experimentation with robotic telepresence. I particularly like the idea of hiring a robot to go somewhere I don’t have to travel, but I’m not sure why that’s different than Skype.