Correction: In an earlier version of this item, Ivan Bowman was credited as the inventor of the IvanAnywhere robot. Ian McHardy, a co-worker of Bowman's at Sybase iAnywhere in Waterloo, Canada, is the actual creator of the robot. Thanks to FromWaterloo in the Crave TalkBack section for pointing it out.
Telecommuting is nothing new. Nor is Web conferencing. But building a robot to come into the office while you work at home? That's both new and awesome.
Ian McHardy created IvanAnywhere to cruise around the office and establish a physical presence for his co-worker, Ivan Bowman, as Bowman works remotely. For the past three months, the robot--which is a battery-powered aluminum rod on wheels equipped with a Web cam, speaker, infrared sensors, and a video screen--has been cruising around the office at iAnywhere Solutions in Waterloo, Canada.
Bowman, a programmer, operates the device from his home in Halifax, Canada, more than 800 miles away.
In addition to standing in on meetings, Bowman uses IvanAnywhere to visit his co-workers in their offices and sometimes just hang out.
TheRecord.com has a great feature story about Ivan AnyWhere.