Self Replicating Robots
Well not quite... During the development of the MantaroBot™ at Mantaro, we found the MantaroBot™ itself to be very useful in assisting with the development of new versions and making upgrades as we prepared to begin shipments of MantaroBots. Recently one of our hardware engineers was staying in Florida and needed to debug and test a new MantaroBot™ controller board at our laboratory in Germantown, Maryland. Unfortunately, no hardware engineers were available that day to perform the work. Instead, the engineer in Florida called in to the MantaroBot™ using a laptop PC connected to a cell phone and worked with one of the software engineers on-site providing instruction on how to set up the test environment, inspect the board and perform the tests. By calling in to the MantaroBot™ and positioning it next to the software engineer in the lab, the engineers were able to work together for a couple of hours as if there were sitting side by side in person. The hardware engineer was able to watch the tests being performed and see the results of the tests in real time. When they ran in to unexpected issues with the debugging, the hardware engineer was able to research and make suggestions on how to correct the issue. Together, the engineers were able to successfully bring up the controller board in a few hours and were able to give the assembly house the green light to build the rest of the boards.
This was an example of how the MantaroBot™ can be used to meet project schedules by allowing flexible use of resources that are available at another location to collaborate. In this particular case, the savings accrued included minimizing lost revenue from not meeting delivery times to elimination of travel time and expenses from flying staff to where they were needed.
Speed of Light Travel
Recently, Mantaro’s CEO was away from the office and needed to attend a meeting at our Germantown, Maryland office. He called in to the MantaroBot™ using Skype™ on his laptop via an Internet connection provided thru his cell phone’s mobile hotspot capabilities. He drove the MantaroBot™ into the conference room and found a comfortable location to “sit” for the meeting. He was able to participate in the two hour long meeting with a level of interaction that is not available from our usual audio only capabilities. Mantaro does have a fixedwebcam in the conference room as well, but unfortunately it only provides a static view and many times there is always someone out of the field of view. With the MantaroBot™, the CEO was able to see each person attending the meeting and virtually face them when they were talking. After the meeting, lunch was also provided and the CEO was able to interact in an informal setting while everyone ate. The only real disadvantage was that he could not share in the good food.
This is an example of how the MantaroBot™ can be used to meet various business objectives by allowing staff to attend and interact at meetings while being away from the office or working at another facility. For example, a CEO in the course of a single day could attend meetings at three different geographical locations (Washington DC, St Louis and San Francisco) all while sitting in her office in New York. Each location would have a MantaroBot™ and the CEO would simply call in to the appropriate MantaroBot™ at the time of the meeting. The CEO could join the meeting when she chooses, see who is in attendance at the meeting, participate in post meeting discussions and even drive into someone’s office for a private follow-up