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Robots connecting employees, familiesThe next time you have a board meeting to attend, perhaps your boss will join in via a robot. This vision from a futuristic film is becoming more and more of a reality as several Silicon Valley companies are developing advanced teleconferencing technologies...
-With two eyes, two wheels, a sphere shaped head and a long neck, Anybots' Cubie Robot is strikingly humanlike and is designed to go where people go. -So here it is. This is the Cubie, right? -Correct. This is the Cubie. It's ultra mobile telepresence unit that you control via browser. -Hi. Good to see you. -And it allows you to be present without having to physically be at some place. -So you can be working at home while the Cubie is your eyes and ears at an office. Miles or even continents away. -He walks in, attends with me for a little bit, can hear what's going on, can speak, can see who's there. He controls his own movement. -While Anybots' $10,000 Cubie might be well suited for businesses, smaller, cheaper bots are also being developed for consumers. There is Motrr's Galileo, Romotive's Romo, and Claire Delaunay's Botiful. -Can I go back to my side? -Yeah, yeah, yeah. -Delaunay is bringing her idea to reality in her Silicon Valley garage. -So, I have an invention, it's a small telepresence robot. It walks with your cellphone and it use Skype as a way to call the robot and to move on the other environment. -Delaunay says her bot targets families with small children who can't stand still long enough for a conversation with the grandparent in front of the computer webcam. -I really designed Botiful to be a like a cute tiny mole that you can have into your house. -Delaunay is seeking funding to bring her idea to reality through the entrepreneurial website Kickstarter. Eventually, she plans on pricing her bots at $300 or less. -We finally reach a technological brand where their hardware is finally like cheap to do this kind of gadget. Can see? -Yes I can see. -In the not too distant future, robots like these could be rolling up to the boardroom or the dining room. In Silicon Valley, I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com for CBS News.