Most telepresence robots combine a mobile base with a small screen placed roughly at the height of a person—think of a tablet computer atop a mop handle anchored to a rolling platform. A remote user controls the robot by means of a tablet or browser, allowing the unit to be positioned in various places in the room and the head to turn at various angles. These devices constitute a more profound innovation in distance collaboration that mixes increased engagement with an element of fun. In this way, telepresence robots show the ways in which people are able to see beyond the hardware and interact with other people as if they were present in the same room.
The 7 Things You Should Know About... series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the 7 Things briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.