Robots in the Office?
CNN checks in with Trevor Blackwell, the founder of Anybots, a company that is attempting to help CEOs micromanage, even when they're nowhere near the office. With robots!
When Trevor Blackwell...wants to know what his employees are up to, he sends a robot to their cubicles. "I can see if people are busy on something -- and then won't interrupt them," he said this week. "Or, you know, if they're doing something that looks interesting, or if they look stuck, I'll have a conversation with them."
I test drove Blackwell's robot, QB, during Inc.'s work from home month, and I must say I found it totally awesome. You control the robot using a Web browser that runs a simple Firefox plug in and move it by using the arrows on your keyboard. The robot has sensors that automatically activate a brake if, for instance, you accidentally run it into a wall--or intentionally try to assault an employee.
Blackwell, who is also a partner in Y Combinator (the two companies share office space), tells CNN that telepresence robots like QB will be common in Silicon Valley offices within a year.