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Will Telepresence Robots Become Commonplace over the Next Decade?

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared iRobot's RP-VITA telepresence robot for operation in hospitals. Controlled by an iPad interface, the RP-VITA allows doctors to virtually "visit" patients and staff remotely. Similarly, it was reported this month that a boy with severe allergies was able to attend class via a robot with a wireless video hookup. Other telepresence applications are possible in the business world; workers, for example, can use the technology to virtually pop into the office, even while travelling.

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