When the Robots Take Over…

Don’t just work from home. Creep out your employees from a distance!

I saw this article recently about the robot that visits your cubicle. Advertised as a “telepresence robot”, Anybots aim to connect workers more seamlessly through the use of video cameras, still camera and a microphone. The basic concept is that, working anywhere from a laptop, you can log into one of these robots which reside in your office and the robot essentially becomes your “avatar”. Your Anybot can zip around the workplace interacting with coworkers; stopping by your desk, sitting in on meetings or impromptu collaboration sessions, heading over to the factory to see what’s coming off the production line, etc. The video demonstration on their website gives you the idea.

While I do see some of the fundamental advantages of “Robot Boss”, I still can’t help but think of all the hilarious and awkward scenarios that could play out in our workplace culture:

  1. It looks like a Segway had a one night stand with a vacuum cleaner. I hope the cleaning staff doesn’t try to use Robot Boss to buff the floors.
  2. People will definitely dress up Robot Boss in embarrassing clothing. Mine would have a handlebar mustache and dress accordingly for the seasons and holidays. 
  3. If you put a piece of paper over the sensors, can you laugh as Robot Boss crashes into walls because it can’t see straight?
  4. Will people eventually prefer Robot Ross to in-person boss? If in-person boss wears cheap cologne, then yes.
  5. I’d like to see Robot Boss take a client out to lunch. Good luck catching a cab, Robot Boss!
  6. I’d be freaked out if I went to a job interview and had to deal with Robot Boss, or a whole room of Robot Bosses!
  7. If Robot Boss gets fired, who does security escort out of the building?
  8. I expect Robot Boss to go to networking events and cheer on the company softball team.
  9. How does HR deal with someone falling in love with Robot Boss?
  10. I sure hope there’s a pause button for when Robot Boss needs to use the restroom.

This could be your Robot Boss

One Comment
  1. August 19th, 2010 - 6:34 am
    Jodi Williams said:

    I love that your robot boss looks like the Natty Bo logo(National Bohemian beer, for those of you not from the B’more area). Seriously though, an interesting concept – I can’t wait to see robot boss v. 2.0.

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