This week at Cisco Live 2013’s Opening Keynote, Cisco demonstrated their new AVA 500 Collaboration Robot (I also see it described as a Telepresence Robot). This awesome new device has been created jointly by Cisco and iRobot (yes, makers of the Roomba automated cleaning devices). No, I am not kidding – this really is a product.
To say that I was unconvinced by the demo would understate the fact that when I saw the AVA500 wobbling its way unsteadily across the stage, I was laughing so hard I could barely type. By the end of the demo I was crying so much I was having trouble focusing on the screen.
The Cisco AVA 500
I’m sure this telepresence device will have its uses and I’ll be proven wrong, but this just doesn’t seem like a big seller to me. My first reactions were:
- It’s a CIUS on wheels
- Have we learned nothing nothing from the Daleks? Won’t somebody think about the stairs?
Further commentary on the Twitters led to the ideas of:
- Sticking a post-it on it (@fryguy_pa)
- Sticking a post-it saying “KICK ME” on the back of it (me)
- Sticking a post-it saying “KICK ME” right on the front (@craigmatsumoto)
- Putting them in random rooms and see if the person using it can find their way around (fryguy_pa)
- Using 20 robots to do a campus-wide scavenger hunt (craigmatsumoto)
I always liked the Regretsy Math posts at the (now mothballed) regretsy.com – where they figured out what things must have gone into making the item being discussed. Having studied the AVA 500 in depth, and verified that the date was not April 1, I came up with the following highly scientific equation which I believe may explain how this all came about:
Heads Will Roll!
I find the visual of a disembodied head weaving its way down a corridor to be more than I think I could cope with in a work environment. Still, if these things interest you, iRobot very kindly put up a video showing how totally awesome this could be:
Will this be Cisco’s next Cius? Probably. The good news though is that you will be able to purchase some optional accessories:
- AVA5-CHOOK6= – Replaces the standard video screen with a module containing six coat hooks. Perfect for getting the best ROI out of the product when you have buyer’s remorse.
- AVA5-CSWEEP1= – Attach this Shark-brand floor cleaner to the red “accessory port” on the rear of the AVA 500, and AVA will clean the carpet behind it as it moves.
- AVA5-WATCOOL= – Turns AVA into a water cooler — and a great conversation piece for your corporate lobby!
- AVA5-ASPID= – Remove the screen and you can install this aspidistra planter in the top. When it rains, AVA will roll outside to self-water the plant and keep it in tip top condition. When it’s sunny, AVA will raise and lower the plant to ensure that the plant gets optimum sun.
Please share your ideas for some other AVA accessories. Come on, I know you have some!