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Beam+ aims to make telepresence affordable with $995 in-home bot

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Beam+ telepresence bot
Beam+ telepresence bot

Telepresence robots are a great idea for those who work remotely or have family on the other side of the globe, but they're also prohibitively expensive for most of us. Suitable Technologies' Beam, for instance, costs a whopping $16,000. Now the company is attempting to bring the tech to a wider audience with Beam+ — a $995 telepresence machine designed for home use.

Play with pets or tuck in the kids remotely

"Beam improves collaboration among today's disparate workforce," says Suitable CEO Scott Hassan, "and now Beam+ gives the home user an affordable and meaningful way to be with the people they love, even when life keeps them apart." The Beam+ features a 10-inch LCD screen that displays video and audio of whoever is beaming in. It has two hours of battery life and is completely remote controlled, letting you zoom around the house for a few hours while you're away. The company suggests such telepresence activities as tucking in your kids at night and playing with the family dog.

Unfortunately, the in-home version will only be available for $995 to the first 1,000 customers — after that the price will jump to $1,995. Pre-orders for Beam+ are available now, with the first batch of US deliveries expected in the summer.