Remote-controlled robots roam the office

Image: Deepak Savadatti on robot
Deepak Savadatti, the chief operating officer for BlueDot, carries on a conversation in the startup’s Bellevue office via a BeamPro telepresence robot. (GeekWire photo by Kevin Lisota)

BELLEVUE, Wash. – In a sixth-floor executive suite here, Deepak Savadatti’s robot has its own office with a view.

Savadatti himself may be sitting in front of a computer hundreds of miles away, at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. He may be dialing in from a smartphone on the road, or at the beach. No matter where he is, his face pops up on the robot’s screen, his voice issues forth from a speaker, and he can even roll around the office to look out the window.

“My kids are surprised that this is working out so well,” Savadatti told GeekWire via robot. “It’s as real as it’s going to get. The very fact that I can move in and out gives me a lot of freedom to be able to have a real workday.”

It’s close to the ultimate in telecommuting: Savadatti’s telepresence robot lets him do his job as the chief operating officer of Bellevue-based BlueDot, the “innovation factory” founded by veteran tech entrepreneur Naveen Jain, while he’s sitting in a home office hundreds of miles away.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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