Beam

A wheeled telepresence robot with a display on top that shows a smiling woman stands next to a base.
Beam and its charging dock. Photo: Suitable Technologies

Beam is a telepresence robotic system that can "teleport" you to a remote location, allowing you to move around and interact with people. It is easy to drive and has a large display to improve face-to-face, or screen-to-face, communication.

Creator

Suitable Technologies

(Beam was acquired by Blue Ocean Robotics from Suitable Technologies in 2019, and is now part of GoBe Robots.)

Year
2011
Country
United States 🇺🇸
Categories
Features
Meet Beam. Video: Blue Ocean Robotics

More videos

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Overall Rating

Average Rating: 3.8 stars (1,926 ratings)

Current Ranking: #158 top rated

Would you want this robot?

75% said yes (1,861 ratings)

Current Ranking: #116 most wanted

Appearance

Neutral

Most rated "Somewhat Friendly" (4,521 ratings)

Current Ranking: #82 creepiest

Did you know?

The latest Beam model, BeamPro 2, has a giant 24-inch touchscreen display and a neck that is height adjustable.

Three telepresence robots of different sizes.
The Beam family: Beam, BeamPro, and BeamPro 2. Photo: Suitable Technologies

History

In 2012, Suitable Technologies, a spinoff from Willow Garage that had been working on a telepresence robot, unveiled the Beam Remote Presence System, priced at US $16,000 and designed for offices and conference settings. It has a wheeled base and two posts that support a screen, which is a bit bigger than a person's head. It includes multiple Wi-Fi radios, microphones, and cameras (some models also have a 4G radio). It is driven via client software, installed on the remove user's computer. In 2014, the company announced the Beam+, a smaller, cheaper robot for home users. In 2019, Blue Ocean Robotics, a Danish robotics company, announced the acquisition of Suitable's Beam telepresence robot business.

A long exposure image of the robot shows motion blur.
Beam in motion. Image: Suitable Technologies
A man in a workspace holds an item up to show a woman displayed on a telepresence robot.
Meeting via Beam. Photo: Suitable Technologies

Specs

Overview

Beam Enhanced model: 10-inch LCD screen, HD camera plus dedicated navigation camera, four-microphone array. Two-way streaming audio and video. Able to safely navigate both spacious and confined environments. Assisted-docking feature. ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) certified for ramps and thresholds. Controlled with phone or desktop application.

Status

Discontinued

Year

2011

Website
Width
31.3 cm
Height
134.4 cm
Length
41.7 cm
Weight
27.2 kg
Speed
2 km/h (max)
Sensors

Wide-angle view and navigation cameras. Four-microphone array.

Degrees of Freedom (DoF)
2
Materials

Reinforced polymer

Compute

PC hardware platform, Intel Celeron 1.8 GHz dual-core CPU, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, two Wi-Fi radios, one speaker

Software

Ubuntu Linux OS. Client and app available for Windows 7/8/10 and Mac OS X, as well as Android and iOS.

Power

12-V 20-Ah sealed lead-acid battery, 8 hours of operation

Cost
$2,140 (Beam Standard), $4,990 (Beam Enhanced)