New Robot Hopes to Change Journalism Industry

The video conference industry is expected to reach $2.9 billion in revenue by 2020, and one company is helping to make that change. According to the Boston Herald, Double Robotics, a tech startup, has created the Double 2, a Segway-like robot that utilized video conference technology.

The robot is geared toward remote workers, students, telecommuters, and especially journalists.

Every day, there are approximately 11 million meetings in the United States, many of which use video conferencing and similar technology. With the new Double 2 robot, Double Robotics hopes to enable video conferencing in areas that were impossible for regular reporters to access in the past.

Potential is great for new journalism outlets, like a robotics bureau in Afghanistan, a White House robotic corespondent and other difficult-to-reach places; Double Robotics hopes to improve many industries with their technology. “We have certainly talked about all of those use cases,” Sara Broyles, Double Robotics spokeswoman, said.

Michelle Johnson, multimedia journalism associate professor at Boston University, believes that this new electronic journalist would be difficult to implement into the industry.

“I’m skeptical that it would work, Johnson said. “Public officials can give you the slip. Imagine if there’s a machine in front of you. I can imagine them throwing a tower over it.”

Spectrum reports that the newest features of the Double 2 make it much more reliable than the Double 1. The newer model is much more sturdier, has a TURBO option and a much better camera. Photos and video will now be taken with a five megapixel HD camera, compared to the Double 1’s 1.2 megapixel camera.

We might still be far away from this type of technology being widely used in the journalism industry, but at the very least, this is steps in the direction of robotic technology.

“I think there are some applications for it,” Johnson continued, “But if you’re trying to do some story with a tough angle and ask someone tough questions, I don’t think that will work.”

The Double 2’s price is currently listed at $2,499.

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