3 Sectors That Can Leverage Telepresence Robots
3 Sectors That Can Leverage Telepresence Robots
This article was originally published on Forbes Magazine website.
By: Craig Goodliffe, CEO & Founder of Cyberbacker.
When the Covid-19 pandemic closed doors, many workers were sent home. Now that the doors are open again, workers can come back. The problem is that many of them aren’t. Some reports show that 3.5 million workers are missing.
I recently experienced this firsthand. My son and I attempted to enter a store only to find a locked door with a sign that said the store was closed because the management couldn't find anyone to work. As someone who regularly utilises remote workers, the sign got me thinking. Are there ways that remote workers could be leveraged to solve the problem that stores like this one were experiencing?
It wasn't until I had a similar problem that I came up with a viable solution at that moment. When I needed someone to assist employees with certain tasks, even though I knew there were remote workers I could hire, I needed them to be present. That was when I began exploring telepresence robots.
These remote-controlled robots, which support portable technology like computers or tablets, take telepresence to the next level. In addition to being able to see a space remotely, they empower the remote worker to move around in that space. For example, when a remote worker participates in a pre-lunch Zoom meeting, they'd typically just log off when the meeting is over. With a telepresence robot, that remote worker could join their onsite colleagues in the lunch room.
Telepresence Robots Can Benefit These 3 Sectors
If empowering a remote worker to tag along to lunch may seem superfluous, there's a wide range of applications in which this technology can increase availability, enhance efficiency and create a safer work environment. Here are just a few examples of industries in which telepresence robots could be employed.
1. The Medical Sector Can Boost Safety and Availability
In the medical field, protecting workers from infection is a top priority. To that end, healthcare workers must utilise a wide range of personal protective equipment and safety procedures to prevent exposure. When consultations with patients are done via a telepresence robot, risk of infection is not an issue.
This technology can also dramatically increase healthcare efficiency by reducing the need for travel. For example, an onsite telepresence robot at an extended care facility can allow doctors and other medical professionals to conduct bedside consultations from a remote location. Because they don't have to physically travel to the office, doctors can spend more time with each patient or extend their hours of availability.
Finally, telepresence robots can allow remote workers to serve as virtual concierges for patients visiting their healthcare provider. They can welcome patients as they arrive, guide them through the sign-up process, escort them to examination rooms and assist them with payment and scheduling follow-up appointments. Unlike AI-driven technology that supports patients through computerised sign-in kiosks, telepresence robots connect patients with an actual person who can better manage unique needs as they arise.
2. Education Can Offer Extended Opportunities
The Covid-19 pandemic introduced students at all levels to remote learning. Now that schools are open again, more than 80% of students report they prefer a hybrid model of learning. Telepresence robots can play a big role in making that more successful.
Telepresence robots give remote students the opportunity to interact with their classmates in real time, moving about the classroom as small groups are formed and shifting their camera focus when classroom discussions take place. For teachers, the use of telepresence robots means they don't need to split their attention between onsite and remote students.
Telepresence robots also offer an innovative opportunity for student teachers to enter classrooms. Rather than being limited to opportunities in local school districts, teachers in training can take advantage of opportunities across the country and even around the globe. This can be especially helpful for teachers specialising in subjects that aren't offered in their local area.
3. Real Estate Can Open More Doors for Clients
Relocating to a new city is becoming increasingly popular. Recent stats show that nearly 25% of Redfin users are looking at properties outside of their cities. However, real estate agents know that buying or renting a home without stepping foot in it first is something few people are willing to do, even if they've seen pictures. The ideal experience brings the prospective buyer on site to move through and explore the property.
Telepresence robots empower realtors looking to serve out-of-town clients or those wary of entering a small space without masking up. By walking remote clients through the space and answering questions in real time, these professionals are able to offer an on-site experience. This can help differentiate their services from realtors who don't utilise technology in their client relationships.
If your business is like most, you depend on technology that was non-existent a decade ago. To adopt it, you had to adjust. You had to rethink. You had to evolve. While a telepresence robot may seem like a radical idea to you, they're being deployed in a wide range of industries. Exploring the possibilities could reveal a variety of innovative applications that can take your business to the next level.
A leading provider of robots as a service, Robots4Good is the exclusive supplier of OhmniClean and OhmniLabs robots and services in Australia and New Zealand for business, manufacturing, schools, hospitals, disability and aged care settings.