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Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Wired News: Working Remotely, Robots in Place
Story location:,1367,58961,00.html
02:00 AM May. 26, 2003 PT

PALO ALTO, California -- How would you feel about sitting across a conference table from a robot remotely controlled by a colleague who could not make the meeting?

Fears of severe acute respiratory syndrome and terrorism, combined with drastically reduced travel budgets, mean more companies are considering video conferencing as an alternative to face-to-face meetings.

But Hewlett-Packard scientists say the most natural way to "meet" when people are not face to face is to use robots.

The scientists, who work out of HP's research laboratory in Palo Alto, were recently on hand to prove it, showing off the prototype for a robot that could navigate through the halls of a building, lower itself down to eye level at a conference table and even mix and mingle with associates as if it were a person.